Olympic champion Jamie Anderson talks skin care, love for hometown of Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — After picking up Olay as a sponsor, Tahoe Olympian Jamie Anderson recently sat down with the Tahoe Daily Tribune to talk about skin routines, beauty standards and her love for her hometown.
Anderson, who grew up in South Lake Tahoe, has made a name for herself as a world-class snowboarder.
She is the first-ever women’s Olympic slopestyle gold medalist, youngest Winter X Games medalist, and took home the ESPY awards for “Best Female U.S. Olympian” and “Best Female Action Sports Athlete.” Those are just a few of her accomplishments but the list goes on and on.
Anderson grew up snowboarding at Sierra-At-Tahoe and still has a special place in her heart for the mountain.
“My favorite run in Tahoe? Anywhere at Sierra-At-Tahoe,” Anderson said. “When I was young, it was just Sugar and Spice, the nice cruisy run all the way to the bottom but now I love riding the gates at Sierra. That’s the backcountry gates that are a little steeper and if it’s a powder day, you can catch me at Huckleberry Bowl.”
Even though she now lives in Canada, she tries to get back to Tahoe once or twice a year.
Being picked up by Olay may seem counterintuitive for a snowboarder who is basically covered head to toe in clothing and equipment.
“Unlike gymnastics or tennis, we’re very bundled up and can cover up your identity,” Anderson said. “When I was younger I really liked that because I was such a tomboy and I was always trying to keep up with the boys.”
She said she often wore boys clothing simply because there wasn’t a lot of women-specific snowboarding clothing at the time.
“I think it’s important, especially as you start to grow into a young woman, to embody the feminine power and appreciate it and know that it is our greatest gift,” Anderson said.
Growing into her femininity came naturally for Anderson, who grew up with six sisters, in addition to her two brothers, and a mother who Anderson said was, “the definition of fearless.”
Now, she says her morning routine is, “sacred,” to her, especially on the mornings of competition. She said she likes to start her day with a warm shower where she can warm up and set her intentions, and she also likes to practice yoga before the competition.
Being a woman in a male dominated sport wasn’t the only adversity she faced. Anderson describes snowboarding as a “luxurious sport,” that can be expensive to access for many people.
“My mom had a lawn care business that my sisters and I helped her run in the offseason,” Anderson said. “We’d mow 30 lawns a week and just kind of save up money because our dream was to be professional snowboarders and we knew it wasn’t a very cheap sport.”
That gave her a sense of determination and independence that she appreciates to this day.
Anderson said she has seen some positive changes in the sport since she was a young girl.
“I’ve seen a huge shift in young girls snowboarding, that being because they have more women to look up to,” Anderson said, adding when she was young there weren’t really any women snowboarders to look up to.
She started the Jamie Anderson Foundation as a way to make winter sports more accessible to young girls and at-risk youth. Since 2013, the foundation has helped more than 30 young winter sports athletes with equipment, clothing, season passes and financial aid.
Live Violence Free in South Lake Tahoe helped connect Anderson with kids who were at-risk and Sierra-At-Tahoe donated passes to those kids.
How do she transition into a day in the life?
“I feel like I’m a pretty unique Olympian because snowboarding is such a free-spirited sport. I don’t have the typical training routine that other Olympic athletes have but I know I’m really good at having fun,” Anderson said.
She enjoys mountain biking, yoga, surfing, swimming and “pretty much anything outside in the summertime.”
Leading into winter, she likes to get her body prepared by making some healthy, seasonal meals like soups, drinking a lot of water and doing a ton of yoga. Anderson said that with COVID, she’s been working on making new habits at home, like doing yoga rather than in a studio or at a gym.
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In a move unusual in today’s West, private land in the Crystal Valley opened in July to free public use by mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners. Coal Basin Ranch opened a 5-mile trail network in mid-July that is open to the public at no cost.