Jamie Anderson just made Olympic history as the first female snowboarder to earn two gold medals — not to mention they were in the same event — but she still hasn’t “really gotten to soak everything in,” she tells PEOPLE.
“I plan on celebrating when I get back to Cali,” Anderson, a 27-year-old native of South Lake Tahoe, California, said in an interview Tuesday, one day after her first-place finish in the women’s slopestyle event at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I think we’re going to do a big United party in San Francisco with my partner airline, and my brother’s a firefighter in Tahoe and they want to do a local parade where all my friends and family can kind of come out and celebrate,” says Anderson, who is also sponsored by Downy (which she name-checks as helping keep her “good on the go”).
While the Anderson family party will likely have to wait until the spring, she said will be getting away in the meantime.
“I’m going to actually check out and go to the ocean for a few days and get away from this scene of madness,” she says. (Soon after, she posted from the beach.)
Along with her will be boyfriend Tyler Nicholson, a fellow snowboarder who grew up in Ontario, Canada, and who competes for another team.
“It’s been such a cool experience to be together here, and we almost feel like we’re in college because we’re going to the American house or sneaking into the Canadian house,” Anderson says, “and we all have like tiny beds so we can’t really cuddle, but we’ll just hang and go do our contests.”
Asked about their relationship, Anderson coos, “Aww, my babe.”
“We’ve been friends for a lot of years,” she says. “And it’s just so fun to have someone I can travel with who has a passion in the same area. We love snowboarding, we love adventure, we’re always going on missions like camping and exploring, and he’s learning to fly those little airplanes. We spend a lot of time in Canada and it’s just fun, especially here at the Olympics.”
Anderson and Nicholson, 22, recounted their love story for the CBC last February, recalling then how romance was sparked after a night out together more than five years ago.
“I knew she was an awesome shredder and I knew that, and was just like an icon in snowboarding so I was intimidated to talk to her,” Nicholson said.
Anderson added: “And then we’re out drinking and dancing and staying at one of my sponsors’ house, and he walked me to the neighborhood and we had a little kiss on the stairs — and then he told me he was 17.”
Anderson, at the time 21 turning 22, said she was surprised by the age difference but they stayed in touch and eventually a relationship blossomed.
Keep Following PEOPLE’s Complete Coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics
“He’s made me a way better snowboarder, even in the short couple of years we’ve been spending time together,” she told the CBC. “I think just having somebody that you trust in your life that believes in you and sees what you’re capable of makes a huge difference.”
Nicholson, too, said he learns things from her.
“She does teach me a lot outside of snowboarding,” he said. “She teaches me how to be more grounded and more mindful and not let little things bug me and just pretty much be a better person. I’ve always looked up to her, and she’s just so good at life, I think.”
Anderson, who will return to compete in women’s big air next Friday, says she’s been struck by the performance at these Games of her fellow female snowboarders, two of whom (Chloe Kim and Arielle Gold) took gold and bronze respectively in halfpipe.
“We’re badasses, you know,” she says. “We’re in a pretty male-dominated sport, so I give so much props to that feminine power, especially because so many of the girls in our sport are not only talented but they’re super beautiful and they’ve just gotten out of their comfort zone. I think it’s hard to be a girl in a tough sport where you crash and you get black eyes and whatnot, but you’re able to keep rising above and I’m so impressed with our team.”
Anderson’s Olympic achievement this week is a far cry from her reality TV days, when she appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice in early 2014. That show’s host, too, is now far removed from the entertainment world.
Asked about her time working with now-President Donald Trump, Anderson says:
“Working on the Apprentice was a really cool business experience. We were doing things, like showcasing magazine pieces and marketing different brands, and that was a really cool business opportunity and nice to get to know him in a different way.”
“And now seeing him as a leader, it’s like a totally yin/yang, I would have never seen that coming,” Anderson continues. “But I just have mutual respect for everything — I know there’s a lot of chaos, but I try to stay within myself and practice what I want to do in my life, which is living more sustainably and truly respecting our resources. And I’m stoked on that.”
The Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.