Team USA snowboarder Jamie Anderson said she went back and forth on whether or not to compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
USA Today reports that between the pandemic, the restrictions, the COVID testing, Anderson said it has been a more complicated Olympics.
“Going to the Olympics is very stressful and you have so much on your plate,” Anderson said at a news conference in the Olympic Village. “And this year it has been an absolute nightmare. Just everything from getting here, I think all of us in the last few months – I was really struggling with everything it took to get here.”
At the time, the two-time Olympic medalist in women’s slopestyle said it added to the pressure of someone who already feels it.
After competing Saturday and securing a top-12 finish — guaranteeing her spot in the finals of the games — Anderson has a chance to make history by becoming the first person ever to three-peat in snowboard slopestyle at the Olympic Winter Games.
Anderson said now that everyone is settled in, it’s better.
“Now that we’re here and settled into our apartment and figuring out our food, and our schedule, we’re all pretty stoked,” she said.
The two-time Olympic slopestyle gold medalist started off strong in the first run of the qualifier on Saturday, scoring a 74.35 to push her over rival Zoi Sadowski-Synnott from New Zealand at the time.
The 31-year-old’s run was highlighted by a backside 540 and frontside 720 on the features to earn her a fifth-place finish in the qualifiers.
“Today was one of the better days we’ve had, so that was a plus,” Anderson said after the qualifiers. “The course is super challenging as you can see — there was a lot of technical runs. I feel very grateful I was able to put one down. And then I felt pretty pissed I couldn’t land my last run, but such is life. I’m excited to send it tomorrow.”
Anderson struggled in her second run of the day, where she failed to land on the final jump following a frontside 720 after hitting the knuckle. Team USA said landing runs is more important to the defending champ rather than going for more technical tricks at the Winter Olympics.
Anderson is on a mission for a gold medal three-peat quest in slopestyle at the 2022 Winter Olympics and defends her silver medal in big air.
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