Jamie Anderson competes during the women's snowboard slopestyle qualifiers Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb. 5, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Jamie Anderson might have fallen during her second run in the women’s slopestyle snowboarding qualifiers on Saturday but still landed a top-12 finish, guaranteeing her spot in the finals of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.
Anderson has a chance to make history by becoming the first person ever to three-peat in snowboard slopestyle at the Olympic Winter Games.
The two-time Olympic slopestyle gold medalist started off strong in the first run of the qualifier, scoring a 74.35 to push her over rival Zoi Sadowski-Synnott from New Zealand at the time. The 31-year-old’s run was highlighted by a backside 540 and frontside 720 on the features to earn her a fifth-place finish in the qualifiers.
“Today was one of the better days we’ve had, so that was a plus,” said Anderson after the qualifiers. “The course is super challenging as you can see – there was a lot of technical runs. I feel very grateful I was able to put one down. And then I felt pretty pissed I couldn’t land my last run, but such is life. I’m excited to send it tomorrow.”
Anderson had some trouble in her second run of the day, where she failed to land on the final jump following a frontside 720 after hitting the knuckle (near the top of the landing).
Landing runs is more important to the defending champ rather than going for more technical tricks at the Winter Olympics.
“I don’t really feel that much pressure to do new tricks [at the Olympics],” Anderson said. “I think it’s more about riding well and linking everything top to bottom. Maybe more so in big air you’ll see the new tricks. I feel like in slopestyle people want to be clean and consistent the whole way down.”
The South Lake Tahoe, California, native returns to the Winter Games in Beijing as the two-time reigning snowboard slopestyle champion. She won her first Olympic gold medal in 2014 and repeated in 2018, where she also won a silver medal in big air’s debut.
Anderson has had a very busy life – both personally and professionally – in the last month, announcing her engagement to partner and Canadian snowboarder Tyler Nicholson last Monday and tying the record for most X Games medals ever won (21) two weeks ago.
Want to follow Team USA athletes during the Paralympic Games Beijing 2022? Visit TeamUSA.org/Beijing-2022-Olympic-Games to view the competition schedule, medal table and results.