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Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson: On Life, Snowboarding and Staying Calm

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Watching Jamie Anderson go down a hill on a snowboard is similar to listening to a well-performed Beethoven Concerto No. 5: It's smooth, flawless, and exquisite. She recently took gold in the first-ever women's slopestyle snowboarding event in Sochi with a performance that will go down in history.

In the world of snowboarding, there are 720s, and then there are Jamie Anderson 720s. A 720 is where a snowboarder rotates themselves 720 degrees in the air and then lands. To take gold, Jamie performed a Cab 720 tail grab, massive switch backside 540 and a frontside 720 that earned her a 95.25 on the judges score card.

In a sport where in a single blink of an eye, a rider can crash and end up severely injured, Jamie stays calm. This kind of "calm" comes from years on the mountain honing a craft and conditioning the mind -- she's been shredding (snowboarder lingo for going down a mountain) since she was 9.

She is a product of her environment: She was raised in Lake Tahoe, Calif., home to some of the most beautiful mountains ranges in America for snowboarding. Jamie was home schooled growing up; because of this, she was able to spend a good part of her life riding all sorts of mountains, and competing in snowboarding competitions.

Jamie graduated from the snowboarding school of hard knocks, where you learn by going out into nature, and testing yourself by doing flips and tricks that were first designed in the imagination. The price of admission for these skills sometimes comes in the form of broken bones, torn ligaments, and other painful injuries that result from crashing -- and I mean crashing hard.

But through a love of the sport, and resilience she has been able to catapult herself to becoming one of the greatest women snowboarders that has ever lived. She took home four gold medals in the X Games. She has also won numerous snowboarding competitions throughout her life.

Here's a recent interview I did with Jamie:

So you made history by winning gold in the first-ever women's Olympic slopestyle event. How does it feel?

It feels absolutely amazing! I can't believe it. So much energy and dedication. So thankful I was able to land a run and do well!

How was it being on the Ellen Degeneres show?

Ellen is awesome! I was so honored to be on her show, she is hilarious!

Can you explain what it feels like to be in the air doing those 720s, and what it feels like to land one?

It's crazy! Definitely takes a lot of balance and concentration, but it feels so good when you land a difficult trick!

Can you explain what your training is like? What do you do to prepare for an event?

I love to practice yoga... It's been my go-to the last few years! I also mountain bike and hike a lot in the summertime. For myself just living a healthy, active lifestyle... Keep it fun and enjoy what I'm doing.

How has meditation impacted your life and training?

Meditation is key. It's a crazy world we live in. Everything is happening so fast in our world, so to take a moment and clear the mind and just be totally present is so healing. I want to meditate more. This media tour has been crazy, and I need a full week of silent meditation! Soon I will be able to take that time for myself.

I hear you had mala beads on when you won, can you explain what they mean to you?

My mala beads are very precious to me. A yoga teacher and friend named Leslie made them for me with love and intention. They are very grounding, and I love them...

You have a really big family. How many brothers and sisters do you have?

I'm one of eight. Five beautiful sisters and two amazing brothers. I'm so grateful for my family.

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