Red Gerard won the United States’ first medal of the PyeongChang Games on Sunday morning, taking gold in slopestyle snowboarding with an array of daring spins, flips and stylish elements in a stunning final run.
Gerard, who grew up snowboarding in Cleveland and honed his craft in a backyard park after moving to Colorado, followed Sage Kotsenburg’s gold in the initial slopestyle event at the Sochi Games with another gold after his three U.S. teammates failed to qualify for the final round. The 17-year-old Gerard overcame a fall on his first two runs and rebounded with a score of 87.16 on his third and final run to leap onto the top of medal table. Canada’s Max Parrot and Mark McMorris won silver and bronze with runs of 86.00 and 85.20, respectively.
A fixture on the snowboarding scene since he was 10, Gerard, who at 5-foot-5 and 115 pounds twisted in the wind at Phoenix Snow Park with ease, fulfilled his long-held promise. And he now can do what no other snowboarder has done since the discipline entered the Olympics: win two medals. Gerard also will compete in the Big Air contest, which will be held Feb. 24, the day before the Closing Ceremony.