Photos: U.S. Women’s Big Air snowboarding lands Silver

Snowboard - Winter Olympics Day 13_395921

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 22: Anna Gasser of Austria competes during the Snowboard – Ladies’ Big Air Final Run 2 on day 13 of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 22, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Reigning world champion Anna Gasser edged two-time gold medalist Jamie Anderson to win gold in the Olympic debut of women’s Big Air snowboarding. Gasser stomped the last of her three jumps, a double cork 1080 that saw the Austrian flip twice while spinning three times. Anderson led going into the final round, but the American sat down while trying to land her last jump.

In snowboarding, it’s the spectacle and not the medals that truly matter. Which is why Gasser was particularly annoyed following the slopestyle competition. She openly wondered why officials allowed the event to go on even though high winds had forced the cancellation of other outdoor competitions scheduled elsewhere in Pyeongchang. Anderson survived the blustery conditions to claim gold on a day when only nine of the 50 runs were completed cleanly.

Officials scrambled to make sure it wouldn’t happen again in Big Air. They moved the finals from Friday to Thursday amid concerns over another possible windstorm, and Anderson and Gasser responded by putting on a compelling duel at sun-splashed and mostly calm Alpensia Ski Jump Centre.

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