Teenager Red Gerard pulled off a shock win in the men's slopestyle snowboarding to claim the first gold medal for Team USA at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Gerard had been in last place before launching his board one last time at scintillating speed in the men's slopestyle final at Phoenix Snow Park to beat all comers.
Despite inconsistent winds that plagued riders throughout the contest, Gerard stomped his final trick, a backside triple cork 1440, and he was awarded the highest score of the day, an 87.16.
Parrot fell in his first two runs but nailed his third to bump McMorris out of the silver medal position with a score of 86.00.
McMorris had an advantage knowing the score he needed to put up in his final run, but the 2014 bronze medalist under-rotated on a jump and crashed, ensuring he couldn't overtake Gerard.
Gerard wasn't even born when snowboarding made its Olympic debut 20 years ago, and he now ranks as the sport's youngest US medalist.
'It's insane. Sometimes it can be too much, but it's really fun having your own family here.
Gerard gave Team USA not only its first gold medal but the first medal of the 2018 Winter Games.
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"I've never really found myself thinking about [the Olympics]", Gerard said a year ago, according to NBC. Bach asked, referencing that Gerard's first two runs were 43- and 46-point duds.
But it's even nicer for the man (boy, I guess?) who did it: 17-year-old Red Gerrard, a surprise victor of the men's snowboard slopestyle competition.
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 US medalist at these Games.
"I don't want to think too much about the past today, but I appreciate the fact I'm here on my snowboard", he said. I'm just really happy that I got to land a run and I'm just really excited right now'. I remember the whole time waiting, just trying to survive because (I) ruptured (my) spleen and all that and my jaw was just hanging. "I just kind of grew up watching Dew Tour and X Games".
Less than a year after a fall that almost claimed his life, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris was back on the medal podium on Saturday. "My son just won an Olympic gold medal". "I never really realized how big it is".
Canada's first medal in Pyeongchang could come courtesy of its high-flying men's snowboard crew, as all four qualified for tonight's slopestyle final, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The event started nearly 40 minutes late due to a "technical maintenance" issue, however, the competitors did not seem concerned by the delay or the foggy conditions as they produced some stunning runs across the slope, featuring three rails at the start before three jumps.