Following the qualifier, which took place earlier this week at the Dew Tour iON Mountain Championships in Breckenridge, Colorado, eight women left it all on the course today during an intense Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle Final—competing under partly cloudy skies, dropping temperatures, heavy wind and a setting sun.
With the competition being a USSA-sanctioned Olympic selection event, the riders went all in for a chance to win the Dew Cup and get one step closer to Sochi.
Similar to the qualifier, each of eight riders had two runs down the course, with only their highest score counting toward the win.
Heading into the final, you had to wonder if anyone could beat defending champion Jamie Anderson, who scored a 93.00 in the qualifying round. However, on her first run today, she significantly overshot the first jump—leaving her desperate for a solid score on her second run.
Anderson wasn't the only rider looking to lay it all on the line in her second run. Enni Rukajarvi and Silje Norendal, who rounded out the top three from Wednesday's qualifier, each fell today during their first run. Oddly enough, the top three from qualifier found themselves in the bottom three following the first round of runs.
Norendal knew she had a lot to lose if she didn't pull it together, but her nerves of steel held up and she stomped her second run, catapulting her to the top of the leader board... temporarily.
Next to drop was Rukajarvi, who was admittedly on edge.
"I was pretty nervous, I tried not to think about it," said Rukajarvi once her run was over and she overtook Norendal. Rukajarvi went on to simply say, with regard to her road to Sochi, that this year is nothing but, "exciting!"
Rukajarvi pulled big air on every jump throwing a big backside 540 into a cab 540 on the first set, then 360 after 360 to wrap her run to earn a 89.40 over Norendal.
However, Rukajarvi had one more woman to watch as Anderson secured the final drop of the day and, as all were aware, owned all the tools it would take to pull out the win on her final run.
With a back bluntside across the first rail to a gap to boardslide to fakie, which lined her up for a cab 720 tail into a switch backside 540 before clearing the next set of jibs to end her run with a front 360 shifty into a backside 540 that took her all the way to the bottom of the landing where she rode out clean!
Anderson's amplitude was borderline out of control in the final, so when she was in mid air on the final jump, only one thing went through her head, "please, just let me land!"
Following her score of 96.00 jumping her back to the top of the podium, Anderson answered for her fans.
"I have so much support and so many good people looking after me," said the thankful Anderson. "I just want to do well, give thanks, stay grateful and enjoy the journey. I'm living the dream right here!
1st Place – Jamie Anderson
2nd Place - Enni Rukajarvi
3rd Place – Silje Norendal
4th Place - Isabel Derungs
5th Place - Jessika Jenson
6th Place - Jordie Karlinski
7th Place - Aimee Fuller
8th Place - Sarka Pancochova