Less than three percent of 10,000-plus athletes that compete in the Olympics actually take home a gold medal. Combine that with the odds of even being an Olympic athlete, and now the chances of winning a gold medal look more like less than one in a million. Jamie Anderson, a laid back snowboarder from California, should know what it feels like to beat those odds, because she just won a gold medal in women’s slopestyle on Sunday at The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics — the first woman to ever win a gold medal in the event.
Anderson’s sport has only recently become an Olympic event. When she was just 15-years old, Jamie was the youngest athlete to win a medal at the Winter X Games, but the pressure was much lower back then. Now that she is competing on an Olympic level, the stakes are much higher, and so is the pressure to win. Athletes find success by learning how to channel these distractions out of their mind and focus on the game. If they let the stress get to them, it will affect them while they’re performing, and they’ll surely make a mistake. That’s why many athletes, like Jamie, are taking up meditation to help them stay calm and focused.
Described by fellow snowboarder and bronze medalist, Jenny Jones, as “a bit of a hippie…”, it comes as know surprise that Anderson claims her secret recipe for success is a combination of meditation, yoga, and incense. “Last night, I was so nervous. I couldn’t even eat. I was trying to calm down. Put on some meditation music, burn some sage. Got the candles going. Just trying to do a little bit of yoga. . . . It was all about good vibration. Thankfully, I slept really good. I did some mantras. It worked out for me.” Anderson said when asked about her regimen.