Red Gerard

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Red Gerard parts with gold medal (briefly) as he returns to slopestyle

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Red Gerard‘s gold medal is damaged. His desire to compete remains in tact.

“The gold medal is, honestly, not doing too good,” Gerard said in a recent interview in New York City.

The 18-year-old snowboarder then unfurled the medal from his pocket and pointed to an adorning clip.

“It took a little beating,” he said. “It broke. We’re going to get it fixed.”

Like many Rio Olympic medalists, Gerard said he planned to send his medal off for repairs. It is a historic one.

Nine months ago, the sixth of seven kids from a Colorado snowboarding family became the first American to take gold in PyeongChang. He became the youngest Olympic snowboarding champion and the youngest individual male U.S. Winter Olympic champion. Eighteen family members made their own headlines, partying at the bottom of the slopestyle course.

Gerard was an underdog in South Korea, not just in stature (not quite 5 and a half feet), but by his previous results. He had not made a podium at the X Games or U.S. Open. His two top-level wins came in California and Utah events without the top Canadians and Norwegians in the field.

Really, it was reminiscent of friend Sage Kotsenburg, whose second slopestyle win in nine years came at the event’s Olympic debut in Sochi. Kotsenburg entered seven contests in his follow-up season, according to World Snowboarding, then faded out of competition to focus on making snowboard films, ultimately announcing retirement at age 23 in 2017.

While Gerard also enjoys filming, he plans to carve a different path.

“I love doing contests,” he said, “and I love the exhilaration that you get from them.”

Gerard already competed in New Zealand in September, placing 21st in a big air event. His season begins in earnest in December with the Dew Tour in Breckenridge, Colo., then the X Games in January, world championships in Park City in February, plus the U.S. Open in Vail.

Maybe one of those days will be like the Olympics. Gerard credited his PyeongChang success to the course suiting him. He chose off-path features on the rail and jump sections that others ignored, not winning solely on the back of big tricks.

“Every contest, there’s a different person that wins, for the most part,” he said. “I’m super psyched that it just so happened for me, it was the Olympics.”

Minutes after winning in PyeongChang, Gerard said he didn’t know about 2022. He only knew that he wanted to do snowboard filming.

“I 100 percent want to go into 2022,” he said last month. “Definitely that’s on my list. But also filming is one step ahead for me right now. Filming is always something I’ve had a passion for. That’s my goal for next year, then after that I’ll go back to contests and focus more on that.”

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Following Red Gerard as he realized the Olympic dream he never had

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Red Gerard was scared.

That’s what he told fellow rider Stale Sandbech of Norway after putting down his gold-medal run in the second-ever Olympic men’s snowboard slopestyle competition in Sochi.

NBCOlympics.com: Women’s snowboard slopestyle qualifying cancelled

Only, Gerard didn’t know at the time that he was going to become the youngest Olympic snowboarding champion of all time and the first U.S. medalist at these Games.

The 17-year-old hadn’t even seen his score yet. Sandbech, the 2014 Olympic silver medalist behind upset champion Sage Kotsenburg, put his left arm around the latest American surprise.

Read the rest of the story and watch Gerard’s gold medal run 

Red Gerard wins gold, claims first 2018 Olympic medal for USA

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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.

NBCOlympics.com: Red Gerard’s gold medal in snowboard slopestyle

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.

NBCOlympics.com: The backyard that made Red Gerard

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.

 

Full Results: 

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