He knew it as soon as he landed: that was a huge run. 17 year-old Red Gerard claimed the first Olympic gold medal for the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games.
Entering the snowboard slopestyle competition, all eyes were on the Norwegian and Canadian snowboarders, and they looked to fit the bill entering the finals, having crammed eight of the 12 athletes. Yet, the heavy hitters seemed to struggle in all three runs of the final round.
Marcus Kleveland, Seppe Smits, Sebastien Toutant, and Tyler Nicholson all mightily struggled on the course today.
With ice in his veins, Gerard saved his biggest run for last, landing a massive 87.16 in his third run to clinch the gold. The American launched a near-perfect run and landed solid on some of his biggest jumps.
With his run out of the way, Gerard had to wait a nervy couple of minutes as the final competitors took the slope for one last attempt to overcome the American.
First up was Mark McMorris, the hands-on favorite to win the event. Attempting a 1,660 spin on his final jump, the Canadian crashed, sending him out of contention.
Next up was fellow Canadian, and fellow contender, Max Parrot, who delivered his own remarkable run. Yet it just wasn’t enough, as his 86.00 scoreline forced him to settle for second.
Gold: Red Gerard (USA), 87.16
Silver: Max Parrot (CAN), 86.00
Bronze: Mark McMorris (CAN), 85.20
Fourth: Staale Sanbech (NOR), 81.01
Fifth: Carlos Garcia Knight (NZL), 78.60
Sixth: Marcus Kleveland (NOR), 77.76
Seventh: Tyler Nicholson (CAN), 76.41
Eighth: Torgeir Bergrem (NOR), 75.80
Ninth: Niklas Mattsson (SWE), 74.71
Tenth: Seppe Smits (BEL), 69.03
Eleventh: Matt Toutant (CAN), 61.08
Twelfth: Mons Roisland (NOR), DNS