U.S. snowboarding star Jamie Anderson survived brutal conditions Monday to defend her Olympic gold medal in the women’s slopestyle.
Unrelenting winds ripped through the Phoenix Snow Park throughout the event, creating dangerous conditions that led to crashes by most of the 27 competitors.
Anderson scored 83.0 on a clean first run that no one else in the field could match.
She long been a snowboarding fixture, picking up the sport at age 9 and landing endorsement deals within a year.
Anderson, 27, won gold in the same event at the Sochi Games in 2014.
Gusting winds forced the cancellation of Sunday’s qualifying round. Instead, all competitors moved into Monday’s final. They each had two jumps, instead of the usual three, as the wind chill plunged below zero.
Canada’s Laurie Blouin won silver and Finland’s Enni Rukajarvi took bronze.
Conditions were bad enough for the women’s giant slalom at the nearby Yongpyong Alpine Center to be postponed.
Los Angeles Times
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