Jamie Anderson Grateful Warrior

Double Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson has her eyes set on grateful living, giving back to the world, and winter sports.

by MEREDITH OGILVIE-THOMPSON
Photos by POBY Stylist JOHN MARTINEZ
Hair & Makeup ERIC LEONARDOS

Entrepreneur, writer, filmmaker, climate advocate and philanthropist might not be the first things that spring to mind when one thinks of Jamie Anderson. But scratch the surface of most champion athletes – in this case, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the most decorated woman in X Games history who twice finished first overall for slope-style in the World Cup – and you’ll likely find their focus and commitment does not begin and end with their sport of choice.  Raised alongside her seven brothers and sisters in the mountain town of South Lake Tahoe, Anderson’s ascent to the podium is a story of community and family and scrappy hard work. From Nikki Warren, the gymnastics teacher who got her onto a local team and kitted her out with hand-me-downs to selling golf balls on the side of the road and working for her mother’s lawn care business, Anderson was inspired to strive from an early age.

Jamie Anderson PHOTO SHOOT
Vest &; Leg Warmers M.Miller , Swim Suit Maaji, Necklace Double Diamond Jewelry, Ring Double Diamond Jewelry, Boots UGG, Scarf QASMYR

“I made a resume when I was ten to try and raise money for me and my sisters Stacie and Joanie,” Anderson says, referring to her two older sisters with whom she is particularly close. “We were the three blondies and got sponsored really young and won all the events at our first nationals.”  By the time she was thirteen, Anderson knew she could turn professional and travel the world, despite the fact snowboarding was not yet an Olympic sport and, more importantly, that she had neither a credit card nor a sponsor.

Jamie Anderson Photo Shoot Mammoth Mountain
Jamie Anderson Photo Shoot Mammoth Mountain Bag from Sierra Design Studios

“I have a journal from 2005 when I was 15 at one of my first events,” Anderson recalls. “I was homesick and sad and broke. I was afraid and felt so alone and I would call my sister Joanie for support.” Anderson would go on to place third on the World Tour that year, and in 2006 became the youngest Winter X Games medalist, edging out Shaun White by a matter of days. By 2008, she was crowned World Tour champion and making a six-figure salary.

“When I first started learning about the environment in my late teens, I felt super overwhelmed with everything. I realized I was just as much a problem as everyone else”

While still very much focused on snowboarding with hopes to compete in the 2022 Beijing Olympics as long as she is “healthy and happy” (which is likely as Anderson is both a yoga and meditation devotee) – these days Anderson is equally focused on giving back. She launched the Jamie Anderson Foundation in 2013 as a way to support young athletes and inspire them to be community and environmental leaders. To date, she has sponsored more than thirty kids with equipment, clothing, season passes and financial aid so they can travel to the USASA national competitions. Like many winter sports professionals, Anderson is concerned about climate change and sees this next generation as a critical front-line. By introducing them to winter sports and providing them access to the mountains, she believes they will naturally be guided to care about the environment and participate in a social movement.

“When I first started learning about the environment in my late teens, I felt super overwhelmed with everything. I realized I was just as much a problem as everyone else,” she says. “While we’re all responsible, I believe little things can make a difference. Nature is abundant.”

In addition to being an ambassador for Protect Our Winters (PoW), Anderson recently ventured into filmmaking with a short she hopes will inspire people to work together to make positive changes. Titled “Hypocrite”, the film shines a spotlight on her career, travel, and the ways she, like many of us, has contributed to this existential threat – that despite being an activist, she has also been part of the problem.

Anderson’s desire to bring people together to solve problems and make things better is a driver for pretty much everything she does. Speak with her for even a short time and her almost pathological need to connect and help others to heal bubbles to the surface, from references to wellness retreats and wanting to work together with her sisters – one is now a health practitioner, and the other specializes in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Even her investments in real estate seem to have a higher purpose.

“I have a property in Whistler, as well as places in Tahoe and Colorado, which I’d eventually like to use to bring people together,” Anderson says. “I’d like to bring my teachers to enlighten people to achieve more vitality and connect more consciously. I think about the future a lot. We’re living in a crazy era, and I want to work more to give back.

Jamie Anderson Photo Shoot
Swimsuit: Maji, Vest: M. Miller, Necklace & Earrings: Double Diamond Jewelry

“It’s important to have people around you to have faith. I’ve been humbled so many times and had to persevere through difficult days. I’d like to be a light that can positively influence people around me.”

“When I first started learning about the environment in my late teens, I felt super overwhelmed with everything. I realized I was just as much a problem as everyone else”

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