During our nice warm summer north of the equator, Jamie Anderson has been making her mark on women’s pro snowboarding during the winter and south of the demarcation line.
She turned 18 years old on September 13. En route, she had a clean sweep at the New Zealand Open in the slope-style and half-pipe competitions. This allowed her to emerge No. 1 in the Burton Global Open Series and the Swatch Ticket to Ride World Snowboard Tour.
One newspaper headline simply stated, “Beware, women’s half pipe riders.” This was because Jamie had been best known as a teen phenomenon in slope style.
Former Olympic half-pipe gold medalist Kelly Clark was first in half-pipe qualifying in New Zealand, and Anderson barely squeaked into the finals in eighth place out of 36 participants. Anderson was the first of eight half-pipe finalists to ride for the judges. She caught their eyes by executing an inverted backside 540. The maneuver won best trick and helped her score 84.25, a total the other riders couldn’t top, despite four attempts. Clark placed third.
In slope style, Anderson was so dominant that her 90 points strongly surpassed runner up Cheryl Maas of the Netherlands, who scored 66 point.
Anderson then went on to sweep the Swatch TTR Billabong Big Air Event. At only 18, she was a veteran repeat winner.
The web site Go211.com responded to the New Zealand accomplishments, describing Jamie Anderson as “a female Shaun White.” Indeed, three years ago Jamie became the youngest Winter X medalist at age 15, edging out Shaun by a few days. She already has three X-Games medals to her credit, most recently winning the 2008 Gold in slope style for the second year in a row.
Jamie plans to continue her surge by competing in the Australian Open in October. After all, it still is winter Down Under.
She is one of eight siblings, with five sisters and two brothers. Her sister, Joanie Anderson, won the 2007 X-Games in snowboard cross.
Blonde-haired Jamie Anderson is 5-foot-2, 120 pounds, and will complete her senior year at California’s South Lake Tahoe High School by taking work-study courses. She netted $10,000 for her New Zealand Open victories.