(NBC OLYMPICS) — Twelve snowboarders will compete for gold Sunday in the women’s slopestyle final at the 2022 Winter Olympics, and NBC and Peacock will be there to capture it all.
American Jamie Anderson is the two-time defending gold medalist. A third title would complete an extraordinary three-peat, appending victories in Sochi and PyeongChang. Any podium spot would earn her a historic fourth career medal; she won her third in big air, a silver, at the 2018 Games.
The 31-year-old’s most prominent challenger is back-to-back 2019 and 2021 world champion Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. In early January, Anderson bested the New Zealander at the Mammoth Grand Prix, stomping a cab 1080 on the final hit, but lost to the 20-year-old later that month at X Games.
Sadowski-Synnott topped Saturday’s qualifying with an 86.75 on her second run. Japan’s Kokomo Murase, 17, winner of this season’s Calgary Snow Rodeo slopestyle World Cup event, was next with an 81.45, followed by two-time Olympic medalist Enni Rukajarvi of Finland.
Also in Sunday’s field: Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi, 2018 silver medalist Laurie Blouin of Canada, Austria’s Anna Gasser, 2021 world bronze medalist Tess Coady of Australia, Americans Julia Marino and Hailey Langland, Switzerland’s Ariane Burri and Annika Morgan of Germany.
Subject to others’ results at the Games, any medal in slopestyle would at least temporarily grant Anderson the title of most decorated Olympic snowboarder of all time. Additionally, a slopestyle victory would make her the first snowboarder to win three consecutive golds in a single event.
Anderson grew up with seven siblings, spending most days on the mountains of Lake Tahoe, and is known for her free-spirited attitude and fierce competitiveness. She recently got engaged to longtime boyfriend Tyler Nicholson, with whom she lives in Canada.
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