ASPEN, Colo. — Launching off an 80-foot jump became a matter of attrition Thursday night as half of the women in the snowboard big air field didn’t finish after numerous crashes, including one that kept the most decorated woman in X Games history from coming back.
Tahoe’s Jamie Anderson won bronze Thursday night, the snowboarder’s 16th X Games medal of her career. But she was not able to finish the 25-minute session after a frontside 1080 that went wrong on her fourth run.
Anderson, 28, landed facing uphill and hit her face hard in the landing area. After a few minutes with a medical team, Anderson was able to walk away.
The slopestyle guru (she’s won a medal for 14 consecutive years in that discipline) also won bronze last year in big air. Thursday night, her earlier runs were enough to hold onto a medal. She is scheduled to compete in the slopestyle finals at 11 a.m. Saturday.
X Games newcomer Laurie Bouin, 22, had the best two scores combined, narrowly edging out New Zealand rider Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, who on the final run jumped to second place with a clean switch backside 900.
There were a number of crashes in practice and that led to the field thinning out.
Julia Marino, who in 2017 won big air bronze and gold in slopestyle in Aspen, dropped out before Thursday’s event. Japan’s Reira Iwabuchi, who won silver last year, also dropped out before the start. California rider Hailey Langland, who won big air in 2017, dropped out after her first run.
The event was already without Austrian rider Anna Gasser, last year’s winner who also got gold in the sports Olympic debut at the Pyeongchang Games a month later. She is nursing an ankle injury and did not compete Thursday night.
In November, Gasser because the first woman to land a cab triple 1260.
Last week, she fractured her right ankle at the World Cup slopestyle event in Switzerland. She does not need surgery but is questionable for the World Championships next month in Park City, Utah.