X Games: Canada’s Spencer O’Brien wins snowboard slopestyle; Tahoe’s Jamie Anderson second
The Aspen Times
On a sunny Friday morning at Buttermilk Mountain, an emotionally charged Spencer O’Brien accomplished her lifelong dream during the Winter X Games women’s snowboard slopestyle competition.
The 27-year-old Canadian snowboarder’s performance placed her at the front of the women’s slopestyle field with a winning score of 91.00.
“Ever since I was a little girl, this is all I wanted,” O’Brien said as tears flooded her eyes. “It just feels so good, I can’t explain how good it feels.”
With a two-point margin between each of the three top scores, Jamie Anderson of South Lake Tahoe, California, came in right behind O’Brien with a second-place score of 89, followed by 15-year-old Hailey Langland of San Clemente, California, whose score of 88 earned bronze at the 2016 women’s slopestyle competition.
One of snowboarding’s most decorated female athletes, Anderson has competed in 11 Winter X Games and won 11 medals.
Anderson said that her nerves, which were “out of control” Friday morning, were her greatest challenge during the slopestyle competition.
“I was just trying to have fun,” Anderson said, adding that she struggled on her first couple runs.
Anderson, who also took home silver at last year’s slopestyle competition, was just about Langland’s age when she won her first X Games medal.
“I love watching Hailey ride,” Anderson said. “You can see her just having fun.”
As for Langland, the teenage snowboarder said she had “no expectations” for her first Winter X Games, and “was even stoked to get an invite and come out here.”
As a Winter X Games announcer said during Langland’s final run, “She can’t drive a car, but she can sure ride a snowboard.”
Eight athletes from all over the world, including New Zealand, Slovakia, and Norway, competed in this year’s women’s snowboard slopestyle competition.
“I’m so happy for my girl Spencer,” Anderson said, adding that, “all the girls were just shredding today.”
“There’s not a lot of women out there doing this,” Anderson said. “It’s such a beautiful group of women…. All so graceful and powerful, it makes me proud to be up there.”