Gerard takes gold in slopestyle event

17-year-old has impressive final run to stun the world’s best

Photo courtesy of | American snowboarder Red Gerard captured the first gold medal for the United States and became the youngest medalist since 1928 alongside fellow American snowboarder and gold medal winner Chloe Kim.

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang got off to a roaring start as 17-year-old American Red Gerard earned a gold medal in the snowboarding slopestyle event, which was televised Saturday night.

Gerard is originally from Rocky River, Ohio, but moved to Silverthorne, Colo., when he was 8 years old. He began snowboarding at the age of 2.

In Pyeongchang, he was up against the world’s stiffest competition: a pair of Canadian snowboarders, Max Parrot and Mark McMorris, who ended up taking home the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Gerard was also up against Norwegian Marcus Kleveland, who has won the same event at the Winter X Games the last two years and was heavily favored in this event.

McMorris, 24, won both the slopestyle and big air competition in the 2015 Winter X Games held annually in Aspen, Colo.

The slopestyle final allowed qualifying riders to complete three runs, and the best score from those runs counted as the final score.

Gerard was part of the second heat of the qualifying rounds and advanced as the third-place finisher in that heat. Based on event rules, the top six finishers in each heat advanced to the final round.

Gerard became the embodiment of the saying “the third time’s the charm” after scoring a medicore 43.33 and a 46.40 in his first two runs.

However, his fortune would change on his third and final run when Gerard etched his name into American history as he captured the gold medal by scoring a whopping 87.16.

With the gold medal finish, Gerard became the youngest American male athlete to medal at the Winter Olympics since 1928.

Gerard will also compete in another event, the Big Air competition, which is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Chloe Kim, a 17-year-old Korean-American snowboarder, also took home a gold medal in the women’s halfpipe event, crushing the competition with a score of 93.75.

By: Luke Feliciano ~Sports Editor~