Jamie Anderson poised for comeback in New Zealand
19- YEAR-OLD SNOWBOARDING STAR TO RETURN AFTER RUPTURING HER SPLEEN IN MARCH
It’s tough to keep Jamie Anderson down for long.
Following a season with two major injuries, the South Shore pro snowboarder is planning to return to competition Thursday in the Burton New Zealand Snowboarding Championships at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
The 19-year-old Anderson suffered a ruptured spleen in March while preparing for a competition toward the end of her 2008-09 season.
Anderson, one of the world’s top slopestyle riders who learned her craft at Sierra-at-Tahoe, ruptured her spleen in a crash while getting ready for the final event of the Burton Open Global Series. She was seriously injured while performing a speed check that sent her hurtling forward. The impact of the fall propelled her knees into the abdomen, causing her spleen to rupture.
Anderson spent six days in an intensive care unit and five days resting at the home of her grandparents before doctors gave her the OK to fly home.
Back in January, Anderson broke her pelvis at the European Open. The injury prevented Anderson from defending her title at the Winter X Games, even though she attended the event expecting to compete.
Understandably, Anderson doesn’t want to miss the season in the southern hemisphere. Last year, she won the slopestyle and halfpipe events in New Zealand. A part-time halfpipe rider, Anderson beat Kelly Clark, one of the world’s top riders, to win the title.
Despite her spate of injuries, Anderson was able to claim the BOGS series championship and $100,000 first prize. She also won five events during the 2008-09 season.
After her latest setback, doctors advised Anderson to take three to six months to recover. She was given a Cat Scan before being cleared to compete, according to her mother, Lauren. Anderson tested her wellness by heli-skiing on Monday in New Zealand, and Lauren said the 2007-08 X Games gold medalist has been feeling “really good.”
Anderson is expected to double up in halfpipe this week in New Zealand, as she did last year. Lauren said that her daughter has informed the U.S. Olympic Committee that she wants to be considered for the Olympic halfpipe team.
Anderson will get a head-start on preparing to make the Olympics by competing against Clark and others in the 22-foot halfpipe. Cardrona is touting its halfpipe as being of equal size to the pipe that will be used for next year’s Winter Games in British Columbia.
Other riders who are expected to compete this week are Antti Autti, Mason Aguirre, Cheryl Maas, Danny Kass, Ellery Hollingsworth, Justin Lamoureux, Ryo Aono and Louie Vito.
Slopestyle semifinals and finals are Thursday, and halfpipe semifinals and finals are set for Friday. Fans can watch Anderson’s return by going to go211.com.