The Associated Press KRASNAYA POLYANA (AP)—There was a lot of ugliness out on that supersized Olympic slopestyle course Sunday—crashes, splashes, face plants, even a cracked helmet.
As she so often does, Jamie Anderson made things look beautiful again.
The world’s most consistent rider came through big under a huge amount of pressure—“I was freaking out,” she said—riding clean on the rails and stomping down three high-flying jumps on her second, and make-or-break, trip down the mountain. She scored a 95.25 on that run to make America 2 for 2 in slopestyle’s colorful and treacherous debut on the Olympic stage.
“It’s kind of a big deal,” said the gold medalist, who earlier this winter had conceded she was heading to Russia with some reservations about what the Olympics really stand for. “This is The Event.”
Enni Rukajarvi of Finland won silver and Jenny Jones took bronze to give Britain its first Olympic medal on the snow.
A heady piece of history for Jones, the 33-year-old, one-time ski resort housekeeper from Bristol, who was unapologetic in revealing she prepared for the big day by watching “Downton Abbey” back at her place in the athletes village.
Jones calls Anderson a “hippie,” and it’s true, the 23-year-old from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., likes yoga and meditation—and granola every now and then.
“I think it’s fair to say Jamie marches to the beat of her own drummer,” American coach Mike Jankowski said. “She likes to do things her way out here.”
Much as she wanted to relax while getting ready for her final run, she said it was, indeed, a little disconcerting standing at the top of the mountain, watching rider after rider take a fall. Of the 24 runs in finals, no fewer than 17 of them included a hand drag, a fall or worse—and that wasn’t counting Austrian Anna Gasser’s failed climb back up the first embankment after she was given the “go” sign a second too soon.
Isabel Derungs of Switzerland fell off a rail and face planted into the snow.