Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson talks Sustainability and Climate Change

Jamie Anderson gets the Gold at the Sochi Olympic Games! In case you missed our interview with Jamie back in December, we wanted to repost it here for you to read and share with the kids in your life. Not only is Jamie an amazing snowboarder, she also has a deep understanding about why and how we should all take care of our planet. Congrats Jamie and many thanks!


Very often, my work on climate change education and advocacy opens a “door” to something or someone surprising. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Olympic hopeful Jamie Anderson, a six time X Games medalist, and one of, if not THE, top-ranked female snowboard slope style riders in the world. Not only did my kids think I was pretty cool to have this opportunity, but after speaking to Jamie, I was also incredibly awed, impressed and thought I was pretty cool too! Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, Jamie first learned to snowboard at the age of nine. One of eight siblings, she is health conscious and environmentally aware, and as I learned first hand, takes the drivers seat when it comes to supporting and promoting sustainable living.

Just 23, yet so very poised and seemingly an old soul, our conversation ran the gamut, from talking about Jamie’s new Nintendo Wii U game, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, to her down to earth, and very literal connection with nature. We discussed how and why we need to slow down and be “mindful” of our actions if we hope to create a sustainable future for ourselves, and our families.

Jamie not only knows how to “talk the talk” when it comes to connecting with and protecting nature, she also “walks the walk.” She is informed and knowledgeable and also has great ideas on how to help people connect and feel part of the solution in a doable way. Jamie told me that the Sochi Olympics are actively working to reduce the carbon footprint of the games, something I wasn’t aware of. The Organizing Committee are going to mitigate not only their own greenhouse gas emissions but also the emissions from the travel of the spectators, athletes and media, something we at ClimateMama learned a little about through our visit at the Vancouver Winter games.

Jamie feels it is important that we all recognize we are “part of the problem” and therefore we all need to be part of the solution, and that through personal choices, like the foods we buy, the products we choose, and the actions we take, we can each make a difference. Jamie buys local and encourages others to do so. Through several of her brand partnerships she has encouraged the development and creation of sustainable products, which she is happy to lend her name to promote.

Through her travels around the world, Jamie told me how she has witnessed with her own eyes the changing snowpack around us, and sees first hand our impact on our environment.

Jamie is supportive of many organizations in and around her hometown of South Lake Tahoe. She told me about the Sugar Pine Foundation which educates and involve the community in hands-on forest stewardship. Lake Tahoe forests, like many other forests around our country and around the world, are increasingly threatened by climate change. In this instance, the sugar pines, which are the world’s largest species of pine, are in serious decline due to a number of factors, including climate change and a non-native, invasive fungus. Though they historically accounted for 25% of Tahoe’s forests, sugar pines now make up less than 5% of the forest composition.

Jamie also shared how the new Nintendo game, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, can help kids appreciate the beauty of the mountains, which depending on where they live, they may not be able to experience first hand.

My son Elliot wanted me to ask Jamie where her current favorite place to board was. She told me New Zealand, a place blessed with endless natural beauty and a real understanding for nature and how and why we need to protect it.

Talking with Jamie was a special opportunity for me and was one of those experiences that gave me hope and inspiration. We need many more young leaders like Jamie, who lead by example, through their passion and through their commitment to making our world a better place.

Thanks Jamie. Good luck in the Olympics, we will be routing for you! And special thanks also for the amazing example you are setting for other young people. You are inspiring us all by showing us that we all can make a difference, one step at a time!


Climate Mama

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One Response to Gold Medalist Jamie Anderson talks Sustainability and Climate Change

  1. Pingback: Sochi Is Feeling Very (Summer) Olympic Today…Will Climate Change Be Discussed As Temperatures Soar | GreenSportsBlog

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