The pressure was enormous for Anna Gasser before the Olympic final in Big Air. The expectations were huge, she was the top favorite. The situation before the Big Air competition became even more difficult for the Austrian, because she was unlucky with the wind in slopestyle and ended up on a disappointing 15th place.
Before the last jump Gasser was only second. But she withstood the pressure and with 185.00 points Gasser won in the end clearly ahead of the American Jamie Anderson (177.25) and the New Zealander Zoi Sadowski Synnott (157.50), who won silver and bronze.
"The time before this Big Air final was certainly one of the hardest in my life," she said to Laola afterwards. She had been in Korea for three and a half weeks and all the excitement was building on that one day. The pressure's also increased after the slopestyle. "From a mental point of view, this was already one of the most difficult competitions I have ever driven," said Gasser after her triumph. Now she wants to enjoy it with her family.
Before the Olympics, Anna Gasser picked up one award after another. This summer she received the ESPY Award for "Best Female Action Sportswoman". She has also been chosen as a "Rider oft he Year" - this is the ultimate accolade in the snowboard scene.
After all, she was the first female snowboarder in history to be voted Austrian Sportswoman of the Year 2017. This is also a historic moment in the alpine country, traditionally dominated by alpine skiing and successful ski jumpers.
"In Austria, almost all attention is devoted to skiing or football. But I think my title was also important as a proxy. Especially for other sports that are not so much in the spotlight," she said in an interview afterwards.
Gasser is an exceptional talent. She only really got into snowboarding at the age of 18, after doing a lot of gymnastics as a young girl. "I was looking for a new passion and with snowboarding I found the perfect one for me". In a furious speed she managed to learn extreme maximum difficulties. In November 2013, she was the first woman to make the Cab Double Cork 900, a double backflip with two and a half turns on the snowboard.
At the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi she became world-famous through TV pictures when, after winning the qualification in the slopestyle competition, she rolled out of the starting house due to a misunderstanding with the starting judge. She didn't win a medal at the time, but the hearts of the people did.
All the more so when she won silver at the home World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria, in 2015, even though she wore a cast on one hand. Last winter was finally the most successful: Gasser won the Freestyle World Cup, became World Champion in Big Air with the premiere of the Double Cork 1080, which was rewarded with 100 points, and won gold in slopestyle at the X-Games.
In addition to all these extraordinary achievements on the snowboard, the 26-year-old woman also shines in self-marketing. Also at an underwear shoot or in a bikini on the lake.
This is also what their social media fans find on Instagram and Facebook.
Instagram:over 166,000 followers
Facebook: about 81.000 Likes
There she also knows how to stage her sponsors, with top partner Red Bull at the top, always with a smile.
She is a big advertising medium for snowboard supplier Burton, promotes Mini, Absolut Park, Love Distribution or blue-tomato.com. Accordingly, Gasser is also the big earner of the snowboard scene - and with her six-figure income on the race to catch up with alpine stars such as her famous compatriot Marcel Hirscher or Lindsey Vonn.
The prize money in the alpine competitions in the World Cup is of course still many times higher than in the snowboard area. T
The way to their spectacular jumps is often painful. "Especially with the Backside Double Cork 1080 I often fell. When I tried it for the first time a few years ago, I immediately broke my ankle joint. I got a neck injury on my second attempt," she said laola1.at.
"After that, I thought to myself, this wasn't going to work out. But then I took it slower and only fully completed the jump when I was 100 percent sure it would work. When I lie in the snow with pain, the first thing I think about is when I can snowboard again. It's got to be passion."
It was worth it in any case: The victory jump in Pyeongchang was a Cab Double Cork 1080.