Jamie Anderson, America's Olympic Hippie, Won Snowboarding Gold

Jamie Anderson has hugged timber earlier than competitions, and incorporates bark in her tour bag. She burns incense in her resort rooms. the yankee skiing megastar grew up in Lake Tahoe, Calif., homeschooled along seven siblings via her mother Lauren; mom believed that children didn’t belong cooped up in class, however have to be unfastened to roam the mountains and woods and research the ebook stuff on their personal time. “It became approximately connecting with the universe,” says Anderson’s older brother Luke, 33, “and going with the waft.”

She does yoga, and has stated that her cause is to discover cognizance. She brings a pharmacy complete of herbal remedies to activities. The laid-returned Californian has called herself a “peaceful warrior,” balancing the need to crush her warring parties with inner calm, and a grin. “I recall myself an vintage hippie for positive,” Anderson’s father, Joey, a retired firefighter who grew up in the Bay region within the 1960s tells TIME. “however Jamie’s a serious hippie.”

Anderson’s at one along with her spirit, and on Monday afternoon on the Phoenix Snow Park in Bongpyeong, South Korea, she have become a -time Olympic champ. She cruised to every other gold medal in the slopestyle opposition, way to an blunders-loose run; treacherous winds messed with the tricks of most riders. along with her 2d gold, Anderson — who 4 years ago received the inaugural Olympic slopestyle event in Sochi — is now the primary lady to win two Olympic gold medals in snowboard.

So far, the americans have swept the snowboarding gold medals of those video games: crimson Gerard took men’s slopestyle gold on Sunday. The ladies’s halfpipe very last is on deck, set for Tuesday morning local time in South Korea: U.S. teenager phenomenon Chloe Kim crowned in qualifying, and fellow people Maddie Mastro, Kelly Clark, and Arielle Gold may also compete for medals.

Jamie Anderson, America's Olympic Hippie, Won Snowboarding Gold

Controversy did overshadow the ladies’s slopestyle, as some riders insisted that, given the gusting winds, the occasion should have been postponed. Riders again and again wiped out, banging their bodies against the snow after sailing and twisting off steep ramps. just 5 of the 25 athletes in the competition finished their first run. “I don’t it think it have to had been run at all,” says Norwegian rider Silje Norendal. She categorised the selection to move forward “crazy” and “sad.” girls’s slopestyle ignored an extraordinary risk to tout its skills to the world. “What we had been capable to show these days become no longer true in any respect,” says Norendal.

Olympic officials did cancel the large slalom alpine ski race on Monday, leading Norendal to indicate that that FIS, the worldwide governing body for both snowboarding and snowboarding, gave the skiers preferential remedy. “when it’s alpine, they have a higher repute, and they really need a good display,” says Norendal. “I feel like we’re clearly coming in 2d.” large slalom doesn’t even remember as a speed occasion in ski racing. meanwhile, snowboarders soar to the threshold of madness. officers sacrificed protection to keep away from a cancellation, a few riders suggested. “The slalom today, I realize it’s unfair if it’s windy,” says Norendal. “but they are able to’t die. we can really get top notch harm.”

Fortuitously, no one did. Anderson argued for containing the event, which was not on time for over an hour due to the climate. “It’s now not like what we’re doing is safe in any case,” says Anderson. knowing so many riders in front of her were falling, Anderson dialed returned her recreation plan, and even made a midair choice to flip as soon as, not two times, off one jump. “I’m now not extremely pleased with my run,” she says. It turned into the sort was recurring you’d locate in a qualifying round; the riders keep their pleasant of the finals. Olympic viewers noticed the junior varsity.

Still, her gold medal shines. Anderson needed to combat injuries — both bodily and mental — to earn her second Olympic title. on account that Sochi, Anderson’s witnessed an influx of younger riders executing more difficult tricks. Their expertise messed with along with her head. “i was like simply afraid,” says Anderson. “i was like oh my gosh, I don’t know if I’m going to preserve with these young backs.”

Incense and bark helped her forestall stressing. Anderson’s constantly been a unfastened-spirit, thank you in large part to her upbringing. Her mother Lauren earned a teaching diploma, then decided she’d as an alternative train her kids herself. “I desired them to run loose like little lambs,” Lauren, who in the course of the occasion turned into sporting a u.s. beanie with “mom” stitched within the wool, tells TIME. while Anderson was about 12, the spent some days in junior excessive. Her father (wool hat: DAD) recollects her laying on the couch sooner or later, after the final bell. “Dad,” she instructed him. “school sucks.”

The mountain serves as her classroom. She’d beat the men in BMX racing, and battled older sisters Joanie, 31, and Stacie, 28, on snowboards. The sisters continuously one-upped every different with new hints. “She knew how to push buttons,” says Joanie, who along side Jamie won X-games gold in 2007. “She wasn’t approximately to be lost in the mix.” Or as more youthful brother Joey, 23, puts it: “she’s a f–king boss, guy.”

Anderson brings therapeutic accoutrements on avenue trips. “i have like a little altar installation at each inn,” Anderson says. “It’s pretty sweet.” For the Olympics, she packed crystals — smoky quartz and clean quartz — a chunk of bark, seed from a Hawaiian temple, and diverse vital oils. She brought frankincense and lavender to the mountain for her Olympic coronation. “I knew she had a little little bit of a gypsy persona,” says Anderson’s boyfriend, Canadian Olympic snowboarder Tyler Nicholson. however once they started dating round 3 years ago, Nicholson changed into surprised she traveled like a healer. He’s considering that warmed up to her conduct. “She owns it,” he says.

Plus, locating awareness yields one hell of a result: making Olympic history.