In the first ever slopestyle event at the Olympics, U.S. snowboarder Jamie Anderson took home the gold medal on Sunday – this while many of her family and friends back home in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., were probably asleep.
Asked if she kept the result a secret until her friends back home could watch the event, Anderson laughed and said no.
“No, there’s definitely no secrets,” the 23-year-old said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I didn’t get to post (something online) myself, but there’s all kinds of posts the moment after the event. You could go on Instagram or Twitter, and it was blowing up.”
Anderson – whom Gottlieb called “the Shaun White of slopestyle” – has also won four gold medals at the Winter X Games, but the Olympics are on a whole other level.
“The Olympics doesn’t compare to any event I’ve ever competed in,” Anderson said. “This is just such a big stage and reaches out to so many people around the world. It was so crazy. It was so fun. Pretty scary. The course was super challenging and took a lot of energy to even put a run together. But to do it in the heat of the moment, with all the pressure on and my family being there to support me, was out of this world.”
Anderson had to come from behind to win gold.
“It was difficult, to say the least,” she said. “I was taking a moment to myself and trying not to take anything too seriously. At the end of the day, it’s just the Olympics, you know?
“No, it was a huge deal for me,” Anderson continued, “and something that I’m so passionate about. I just had to go back to knowing that I’m capable of it and really believing in myself and seeing it to the end – and yeah, just having that faith.”
The medal ceremony is something Anderson won’t ever forget.
“Oh my gosh,” she said. “Words can’t even describe what was going through my mind. I can’t believe I didn’t break down in tears. Just the whole week leading up to it was very emotional. But when that moment finally happened, it was just the most amazing moment of my life, pretty much. Being up there, seeing my family in the crowd and everyone there that was just so excited for me – it was just such a special experience.”
There was, however, a little bit of drama leading up to the event, as Bob Costas criticized slopestyle, equating it with something you’d see from Johnny Knoxville on Jackass.
“I think he is out of control,” Anderson said of Coastas. “I actually went on a show with him (Sunday) night and I wanted to call him out. From my personal view, I thought it was pretty sad and unfortunate to see someone who is so looked up to in the Olympics to be negative on something that’s brought so much light to the Olympics and the youth that’s now really inspired by our sport. Clearly, he’s a little bit negative on our front, but I think he likes it now.”