Jessika Jenson rode a strong first run to a fifth-place finish in the Winter Olympics women’s snowboard slopestyle finals Sunday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Jenson, of Rigby, posted a score of 72.26 in the first of her two runs. That score put her first for much of the first run before she eventually dropped to third. She pulled out of her second run after losing speed. She remained in medal contention until late in the second run, but was passed by Canadian Laurie Blouin and Enni Rukajarvi of Finland and finished fifth.
Jamie Anderson has defended her title in Olympic women’s slopestyle snowboarding, surviving blustery and treacherous conditions at Phoenix Snow Park to give the United States its second gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Games.
Anderson was one of the few riders in the final to navigate the tricky series of rails and jumps safely as the wind wreaked havoc on the field, turning the final almost into a matter of survival.
Anderson posted a score of 83.00 in the first of her two runs then watched it hold up as rider after rider either crashed or bailed. Even Anderson wasn’t immune. She washed out in her second run with the gold medal already wrapped up.
Blouin took silver, with Rukajarvi finishing third. Anderson is the first woman to win multiple gold medals in snowboarding at the Olympics.
The event was plagued by bad weather.
Shifting, bitter winds whipped tiny ice pellets across the iced-over jumps at the Phoenix Snow Park and stiffened the orange-colored wind socks in one direction, then another. Hundreds of numbed fans streamed toward the exits while the action was ongoing, and the stands were half empty as the afternoon wore on, with wind chills dipping to 5 degrees (minus-15 degrees Celsius) and below.
Twenty-five riders each took two turns down a course that, by almost all of their accounts, should not have been open for action. Of the 50 runs, 41 ended with a rider on her backside, or in a face plant, or, in the case of Canadian Spencer O’Brien and a few others, in a slow ride down the course after simply pulling up because they couldn’t build enough speed to reach the top of a ramp.
1. Jamie Anderson, United States, (83.0; 34.56) 83.0.
2. Laurie Blouin, Canada, (49.16; 76.33) 76.33.
3. Enni Rukajarvi, Finland, (45.85; 75.38) 75.38.
4. Silje Norendal, Norway, (73.91; 47.66) 73.91.
5. Jessika Jenson, United States, (72.26; 41.11) 72.26.
6. Hailey Langland, United States, (41.26; 71.8) 71.8.
7. Sina Candrian, Switzerland, (66.35; 39.8) 66.35.
8. Sofya Fedorova, OA Russia, (27.53; 65.73) 65.73.
Other U.S. finisher
11. Julia Marino, United States, (55.85; 41.05) 55.85.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.