Jamie Anderson is an Olympic snowboarder on Team USA. She won gold at the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia, and is a five-time X Games gold medallist. The reigning Olympic slopestyle champion is preparing to hang on to her title in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Anderson, 27, is dating Tyler Nicholson. The 22-year-old Canadian-born Nicholson is also a snowboarder.
“He is very supportive and he is a big part of my life. We push and train with each other. Makes it that much more fun,” Anderson told NBC back in October.
Both Anderson and Nicholson will be competing in this year’s Olympic Games.
Here is what you need to know:
1. He & Anderson Were Friends Before They Started Dating
Anderson and Nicholson have been friends for five years. The two met in a bar in Whistler, British Columbia, and became friends.
They got to know each other for two years before they started dating. In December 2017, the couple celebrated their 3-year anniversary. Anderson posted a sweet message to her beau to commemorate their special day.
“We’ve been friends for 5 years and dating for almost 3… I feel so thankful to have you as my best friend! We’ve gone through highs & lows together, which I feel makes our friendship even more solid! I feel more in love everyday and am so grateful for our relationship! Life is short, enjoy every moment,” Anderson recently wrote in an Instagram caption.
The couple has been super supportive of one another over the years. Their respective snowboarding careers have caused their bond to become even stronger.
“He definitely inspired me a lot when we first started dating he was the first one to really encourage me to do a lot of the new tricks I tried just because he had that belief … having someone give you that courage is what we need the most. Just having someone actually believe in me, then I’m like yeah, I guess this is possible .and I can do it,” Anderson told Mad to Live blogger Sophie Everard back in March 2017.
You can learn more about their love story by watching the video below.
2. He Will Compete in the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang
Nicholson joined Canada’s national snowboard team for the 2013-14 season, but he didn’t qualify for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. He did, however, qualify for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and will be competing for his country.
When he joined Canada’s National Team two years ago, he was the youngest member. Many would say that he has earned his spot on the team since that time, however.
“The Canadian contingent has been dominating men’s slopestyle and big air snowboarding for much of the current decade, and Tyler Nicholson hopes to be the latest rider from up north to leave an indelible mark,” reads his bio on NBC’s Olympics website.
Slopestyle is defined as “a type of freestyle snowboarding or skiing contest which involves performing a variety of acrobatic maneuvers while negotiating a sloping course featuring rails for sliding and ramps for jumping.”
This will be Nicholson’s very first time competing in the Olympics.
3. He Tore His ACL in 2017
In April 2017, Nicholson was at Suzuki’s Nine Knights in Watles, South Tyrol, Italy, when he tore his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Nicholson had been pretty lucky throughout his career as a snowboarder, and this was his first major injury that would take him away from practicing for several months.
Although this is a common injury, it is one that requires surgery. Rehab can take anywhere from six to nine months.
“From the time you first undergo surgery through full rehabilitation, the process can take up to six months or more. You need to take it easy and follow a rehabilitation program to strengthen the muscles around the knee and to regain range of motion.”
Nicholson underwent surgery a couple of weeks after messing up his knee. He thanked his surgeon, Dr. Mark Heard, “for being such a boss and ‘stomping’ [his] surgery.”
Over the next six months, he worked on rehabbing his knee. He got some good news in October, ahead of the 2018 Winter Games.
“I just saw my surgeon for my 6 month post ACL check up and he says my knee is doing “phenomenal”. Hearing this just makes me so happy knowing all the work I’ve been putting in is paying off. I cannot wait to shred asap,” he wrote on Instagram in October.
He got back to snowboarding shortly thereafter and competed at the Dew Tour slopestyle event in December 2017.
4. He Has Been Snowboarding Since He Was Young
Nicholson started snowboarding when he was 7 years old, after getting his very first snowboard as a gift for Christmas. Growing up in North Bay, Ontario, there was plenty of snow around, and he didn’t waste any time learning how to snowboard.
At age 14, Nicholson won bronze at the 2010 Ontario Winter Games. Two years later, he competed in slopestyle at the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, finishing in sixth place, according to his bio on Canada’s official Olympics website. In 2013, he took home a gold medal at the FIS Junior World Championships.
Two years later, he earned his first FIS World Cup podium, finishing second. In 2016, “Nicholson finished first overall in men’s slopestyle on the World Snowboard Tour. He also placed in the top five in both the slopestyle and big air Olympic test events at the PyeongChang 2018 venues,” his bio reads.
Before his knee injury, Nicholson earned his third World Cup podium at the Laax Open. He then won the silver medal at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado. He returned to the X Games in January and finished in fifth place in the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle.
Over the years, his performances have earned him sponsorships from Rockstar Energy, Under Armour, and Lib Tech.
While he thought he had most of 2017 to prepare for the 2018 Olympics, his ACL injury sidelined him for several months. He is back, however, and he’s ready to take on Pyeongchang.
5. He Celebrated Anderson’s Birthday With Her in Hawaii
When Nicholson and Anderson aren’t snowboarding, they enjoy the warmer weather and have been known to sneak off to an exotic location just to hang out.
“During the summer, you will usually find me in Hawaii, Bali, South America or somewhere warm where I can surf, hike and relax with friends and my boyfriend,” Anderson told NBC.
Last year, the couple headed to Hawaii with some friends to celebrate Anderson’s birthday. They posted quite a few pictures on social media, and appeared to be having a great time. They spent time on the island of Kauai and enjoyed many outdoor activities from hiking to diving.
“Kauai is one of my favorite places,” Nicholson captioned one of his vacation photos.