Monster Energy's Jamie Anderson continued her stellar season by adding another trophy to her collection by winning Slopestyle at the final stop of the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix event at Mammoth Mountain. Battling strong competition and tough weather, Anderson leaned on focus and experience to grind out another win. Considering the winter that California has been having with Mammoth Mountain receiving over 20 feet of snow in the month of January alone, it comes with little surprise that winter was in full effect for this weekend’s event. Having to cancel or postpone most events all week, Slopestyle finals finally took place under cloudy skies, fresh snow and lots of wind.
But this isn't Jamie Anderson's first rodeo and adverse conditions were not going to stop the most decorated women's Slopestyle athlete in the history of women's snowboarding.
Drawing on years of experience, Anderson understood that a winning run today wouldn't necessarily be about progression but more about consistency. Just staying on her board given the low light and wind was impressive enough as she took apart the rail section. Starting with a frontside 180 on to a cab 180 off the down bar she then buttered a tail slide 270 off the signature Mammoth Pyramid feature.
Transitioning into the jump line she set up with a little hand plant on the quarter pipe before boosting a method off the following side hit. Picking up speed toward the first kicker Anderson set up to spin and laid down a frontside 720 before floating one of her beautiful backside rodeos. With one jump to go the contest would be hers if she just landed on her board. Fortunately her bag of tricks is deep and all things considered a smooth cab 540 would be enough to secure the victory.
"I mean conditions sucked, but hey, we pulled it off," she said with a smile.
Looking around and finding her family in the crowd she added, "Really, I'm just so happy my family got to be here. This doesn't happen all the time and this whole week was a family reunion so I'm very grateful."
An important win for Anderson, this was the first event in which riders could start to collect points towards a bid for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. Anderson, you remember is the reigning Slopestyle Gold medalist from the Sochi winter games held in Russia three years ago and all things considered, a shoe in to be representing her country next year in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Maggie Voisin wins freeski slopestyle at the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix event at Mammoth Mountain, California. The 18-year-old from Whitefish, Montana walked away with her first world cup victory, which stacks her chances of earning an automatic selection to her first Olympic team. Voisin earned a silver medal in 2014 at X Games Aspen and had been named to the 2014 Olympic team, but a broken leg prevented her from competing. Now, after winning one of six events designated for qualifying for the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, Voisin is in the running since up to three men’s and women’s slopestyle athletes who have two podium results will earn automatic selection to the team for PyeongChang, South Korea.
Battling strong competition and tough weather, Voisin’s winning run was comprised of a left 270 on to a front 270 gap pyramid, switch to switch, switch left 180 to right 540 mute, switch left 540 high safety to cork left 900 tail.
“I am super grateful I was able to put it down nice and smooth on the first jump, and am glad the weather was able to hold up, said Voisin. I am also really excited to continue this season and hopefully keep the momentum going.”
Considering the winter that California has been having with Mammoth Mountain receiving over 20 feet of snow in the month of January alone, it comes with little surprise that winter was in full effect for this weekend’s event. Having to cancel or postpone most events all week, the men’s freeski halfpipe finals were cancelled because of high winds, and Gus Kenworthy took second place off his qualifying results.
An important event for Kenworthy, who is the silver slopestyle medalist from the Sochi Winter Games held in Russia in 2014, he tried not to worry to much about the weather and just focus on landing his run.
“I don't think I prepared for this event any differently than I would have for any other event,” said Kenworthy. The fact that it's an Olympic qualifier definitely adds a lot of pressure, but I tried not to think too much about the stakes at hand and just focused on landing my run.”
Kenworthy’s trick’s consisted of a right 720 to switch double 1080 to a right 900, to a double 1260 and an alley-oop flat 540.