The athletes did not fly through the air with the greatest of ease during the wind-whipped women’s slopestyle at the Winter Olympics on Monday. But reigning Olympic champion Jamie Anderson tamed the conditions enough to win the gold medal in Pyeongchang, South Korea ― defending the gold she won four years ago in the same event.
She became the first female snowboarder to win multiple golds and notched the second gold for the United States at this year’s games.
“I’m feeling so happy,” Anderson said, per the Olympics’ news service. “I’ve gone through so much this last year just preparing for the Games and defending the gold is definitely not an easy position to be in.”
Much of the drama was created by the wind, which wiped out Sunday’s qualifying. So the whole field got to compete in Monday’s final in two runs for the gold.
But the conditions remained dangerous. After a 75-minute delay, Anderson and the rest of the field went to work. Much of the field struggled mightily against the elements, but Anderson managed to record an 83 on her first run to take the lead, and that score held up.
Canada’s Laurie Blouin and Finland’s Enni Rukarvi took silver and bronze, respectively.
Anderson’s victory left the U.S. perfect in slopestyle since its introduction at Sochi in 2014. Red Gerard won for the men’s side a day earlier in South Korea, and Anderson and Sage Kotsenburg won the slopestyle golds in 2014.