Jamie Anderson wins snowboard slope in Laax, X Games bound with freeskier Maddie Bowman | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Jamie Anderson wins snowboard slope in Laax, X Games bound with freeskier Maddie Bowman

Sebastian Foltz
Snowboarder Jaime Anderson reaches for a grab during the 2016 LAAX Open slopestyle finals in Switzerland. Anderson won the competition and will head to the X Games this week in Aspen, Colorado.
Courtesy / LAAX Open / stadlerphoto.com |

Last week Jamie Anderson said she didn’t feel like she was rusty, returning to competition for the first time since injuring her surgically repaired collarbone in December. Last Saturday, Jan. 23, in Switzerland at the LAAX Open she showed it. The X Games and Olympic snowboard slopestyle gold medalist only needed one try to throw down a finals run good enough to hold off the competition for three rounds.

After finishing first in the semifinals, Anderson scored an opening finals run of 81.1, which broadcasters joked might as well close the competition after a single round. They turned out to be right. New Zealand’s Christy Prior scored a 71.8 in her second run as the only competitor to come remotely close to catching Anderson.

With a podium that mirrored the semifinals, Anderson took the top spot, followed by Prior and 17-year-old Japanese rider Miyabi Onitsuku in third.

The South Lake Tahoe native and Sierra-at-Tahoe rider will look to seize on the momentum from her return to action with the X Games Aspen getting underway this week in Colorado. Anderson finished second at last year’s contest.

In addition to last weekend’s win, Anderson was also recently awarded Snowboarder Magazine No. 1 women’s rider of the year honors, for her accomplishments in the last calendar year.

Women’s X Games snowboard slopestyle finals are scheduled be broadcast at 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 29, on ESPN3.

BOWMAN BACK to defend gold

Fellow Olympic gold medalist Maddie Bowman was also back at it last weekend, competing in the U.S. Grand Prix at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

After a second-place finish in qualifiers, Bowman took sixth in the women’s freeskiing halfpipe finals.

“The goal was just to get (Maddie) back in the halfpipe, have her prove to herself that she’s still Maddie Bowman and that she can still ski really well,” said U.S. Freeskiing halfpipe coach Andy Woods. “I think ultimately she’s really happy with how everything turned out and how her body feels, and she’s ready to get a good start into the rest of the season.”

It was Bowman’s first competition since tearing her ACL last March. She will also take part in X Games this week. Bowman won gold last year’s halfpipe contest, prior to injuring her knee. Women’s ski halfpipe finals are scheduled to be broadcast during the X Games primetime telecast Friday, Jan. 29, between 4-8 p.m. on ESPN.

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