SLT’s Jamie Anderson captures silver at X Games
ASPEN, Colo. — Jamie Anderson had the gold medal in her sights after a stellar second run in the women’s Snowboard Slopestyle final Sunday morning at X Games Aspen 2015 — but was bumped from the podium by the defending champion. Norway’s Silje Norendal overtook Anderson on the last run of the finals, leaving the South Lake Tahoe native with the silver medal.
The first event of the final day of competition at Buttermilk Mountain, the Snowboard Slopestyle finals were filled with drama and carnage. Flat light and difficult visibility made for tough working conditions on the course, which started with technical rails and then featured three big jumps.
Three of the eight finalists fell on the first of three runs and four of the eight fell on the second run — before the finals, Anderson fell during a practice run. Then, just in time for late dramatics, the sun came out.
Anderson, the reigning Olympic champion and Winter X Games Aspen 2013 gold medalist set the benchmark when she posted a 91.33 score from the judges on her second (and sunny) run. Anderson began her eventual silver-medal run with a layback on the course’s wall feature — after the rails section, she landed a frontside 720, backside 540 and cab 720.
Anderson bested Norendal’s first round score of 90.66 with her second run. And that score held until the Norwegian took to the hill for the last run of the competition.
Norendal put together a pressure-packed and spotless final run, earning a 93.66 to repeat as the gold medalist in Aspen — her jumps included a frontside rodeo 720, backside 540 and cab 720 after a flawless upper section. Three times, Norendal has medaled in Aspen — three times, she has won gold.
“My rails were pretty good,” Norendal said of her winning score.
Asked about the pressure of being the defending champion in the event, Norendal said, “I tried not to think about it all week.”
She added that with three jumps in the course instead of the four — like last year — helped challenge the competitors to go big.
Anderson, who won the event at Buttermilk in 2013, collected the silver medal. The 24-year-old is 10-for-10 in Snowboard Slopestyle podium appearances at the Games — Sunday’s silver was her fourth to go along with four golds and two bronzes.
The bronze was awarded to Christy Prior of New Zealand, an X Games rookie. The yoga instructor and professional snowboarder used a stylish final run to reach the podium — judges rewarded her with an 89.33 and a bronze medal.
Canada’s Spencer O’Brien was fourth in spite of executing a 900 trick for the first time ever in the women’s Snowboard Slopestyle.
Information in this article provided by The Aspen Times Sports Editor Dale Strode.
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