Winter X Games Sibling Rivalry
With three pairs of brothers and sisters competing at Winter X Games 15, sibling rivalries are poised to reach new heights — literally. The family ties bind across all three sports in Aspen: Jamie and Joanie Anderson in snowboarding, Jossi and Byron Wells in skiing, and Caleb and Colton Moore in snowmobiling. How do they influence each other as athletes and competitors? How important is it for the younger to beat the older? And, most importantly, who do their parents really want to see on the podium?
Snowboarding: Jamie and Joanie Anderson
Growing up as two of eight kids made Jamie and Joanie Anderson competitive at two kinds of tables — the dinner, and the table-top snowboard jumps at South Lake Tahoe. Dialing in the latter led them to win Winter X gold on the same day in 2007, becoming the only sisters to ever do so.
Thankfully for their parents, they were in different events. Jamie, 20, took slopestyle while older sister, Joanie, 23, won snowboard cross. But the two have squared off against each other twice at Winter X in Snowboarder X with Joanie winning each time — but then Joanie is known as a boardercross threat. For her part, Jamie is one of the most respected park riders in the sport and has a 2009 Rider Of The Year title from Snowboarder magazine to prove it (the youngest rider to ever achieve that honor). “It’s cool because our different events showcase our different strengths,” Joanie says.
“Our parents never pushed us to compete, but they were always there to support us,” says Jamie, a four-time Winter X medalist who also took the gold in 2008. “But we definitely pushed each other growing up, and still do. We feed off each other.”
It helped that all their other siblings snowboarded as well. “I think it’s had a lot to do with our success,” says Joanie, a two-time Winter X medalist and six-time competitor. “We all learned together. If one sister did something, the other would try it as well. It’s a great support system.”
Neither was in top shape last winter in Aspen. Joanie dislocated her right hip at a World Cup event the previous season and Jamie fractured her pelvis two weeks before the 2009 Winter X Games before rupturing her spleen two months later. But both come to Winter X 15 fully healed and set to reclaim their respective podiums.
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