Unfortunately for this talented snowboarder from South Lake Tahoe, what appears to be her final Olympics will clearly not be the most memorable for Jamie Anderson.
In Monday’s Big Air competition, Anderson failed to qualify for the finals and her stay at the Beijing Olympics is over. She earned a silver medal in the event’s debut at the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The product of Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort, Anderson finished 15th in the Big Air qualifying round. Only the top 12 snowboarders move on to the finals. Anderson landed just one of her three jumps in Big Air.
In her best event earlier in Beijing, Anderson took ninth overall in slopestyle, an event she had won the gold medal in the two previous Winter Olympics.
In Big Air, Anderson said she was “honestly heartbroken” at falling on both her first two jumps, which she considered safe tricks.
For her third attempt, she tried a much riskier front double 1080 and converted it beautifully for a score of 89.75, the second-best individual mark of the day. Big Air combines the best two scores out of a snowboarder’s three attempts to produce a final score.
JAMIE ANDERSON FILE
- Born: Sept. 13, 1990
- Age: 31
- Grew up: Myers, near South Lake Tahoe
- Family: 5 sisters, two brothers
- Parents: Joey and Lauren Anderson
- Boyfriend: Tyler Nicholson
- Height: 5-3
- Home Mountain: Sierra-at-Tahoe
- Turned professional: 2004
- Specialty: Slopestyle, Big Air
- Olympic Medals: 3
- Winter X Games Medals: 19
Anderson is one of the sport’s pioneers and the gold medalist in slopestyle at both the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. But the progression of the sport has seen a new generation of women executing new tricks and taking bigger risks, and there have been questions about whether Anderson will want to keep going and push herself to keep up.
The 31-year-pld Anderson was clearly discouraged by her performance in Beijing, yet left the door open for one more run at the 2026 Olympics in Milano-Cortina.
“Part of me just wants to quit (the sport),” Anderson said. “Part of me wants to go work harder and come back and win everything because I know I’m capable. But it’s been a long journey for me. I’ll definitely just take a little time and go freeride with some pals and then reset and see what I feel.”
Her third Olympic experience did not go as planned, leaving Anderson tired, burnt out and anxious to leave China.
“We’ve been here for so long. I feel that the whole crew was over it – like, just barely hanging on by a freaking strand of hair,” Anderson said. “I’m tired of the food, homesick, tired of the pressure; a little bit tapped out. I’m excited to go home.”
The U.S. did advance one rider into the finals when 21-year-old Hailey Langland of San Clemente held on for the 12th and final qualifying spot by a quarter of a point over Switzerland’s Bianca Gisler.