Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Jamie Anderson wins gold in PyeongChang!

Jamie Anderson wins gold in PyeongChang!

The American snowboarding star had reached the bottom of wind-whipped Phoenix Snow Park in the women's slopestyle finals intact and upright.

Twenty-four others tried. They each took two rides down a diabolical course.

Numerous snowboarders fell on the second run as conditions worsened. The lucky ones finished by playing it safe.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, North Korea's nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, greet players after the preliminary round of the women's hockey game between Switzerland and the combined Koreas at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday. Finishing second was Canadian Laurie Blouin who was able to put down her best run on the second lap, when winds got worse.

Jamie Anderson battled fierce winds on the slopestyle snowboard course, but in the end repeated her gold medal performance from the Sochi games and an event the USA has dominated this Olympics as well. Canada won the team gold in figure skating; Jamie Anderson captured gold in slopestyle despite unsafe, unpleasant conditions; and Mirai Nagasu became the first American woman to land a triple axel at the Olympics. When Jamie visits mom, like she did after winning her first gold at the Sochi Games, residents in this town get to brush shoulders with the best.

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She talked with 11Alive's Cheryl Preheim about the moment.

Temperatures at Phoenix Snow Park were in the low teens, and more important, winds whipped at 15 miles per hour.

"I was trying to keep the spirits high, like, 'Let's run it, '" Anderson said, per the AP. Before my first run I was just up there crying. "It was just a s***show". "All these incredible women, who are lovely and grounded, are doing tricks that men were doing just a couple of years ago", she said. Had she scored the same in Sochi in 2014 she would have walked away with 6 place. But ultimately, in these conditions, it was her experience that came in handy. It served her well. Finland's flagbearer at the opening ceremony didn't finish her first run. Max Parrot of Bromont, Que., won silver and Regina's Mark McMorris took the bronze. "She likes to win".

Norway's Marcus Kleveland scored 83.71 to qualify in first from heat one, yet it was a hard heat for the Americans, with Corning's compatriot Ryan Stassel also struggling and finishing in 17th place. The second-to-last snowboarder of the day, American Julia Marino, had posted a 41.05. She rocked her head back and raised her hands in celebration. She became the youngest female medalist in 2005 when she won bronze. She bottomed into the snow.

That image fit with the day. She's one of the most-followed Olympians on Instagram with over 467K followers. "I think now it's finally set in".

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"I did expect it to hold a little longer than it did because that run had all the biggest tricks that all the other guys did".

"The weather was bad and too risky", said bronze medallist Enni Rukajarvi, while Austria's Anna Gasser added: "So many people got hurt because of the wind".

Even before today, the event had already been warped by weather.

The event had been modified from its standard format after high winds forced the cancellation of Sunday afternoon's two-run qualifying stage, which typically narrows the field to 12 finalists for a three-run final.

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