Redmond Gerard Wins Gold Medal for Snowboarding Slopestyle at Olympics 2018

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2018

PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11:  Redmond Gerard of the United States celebrates during the Snowboard Men's Slopestyle Final on day two of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Redmond Gerard earned a gold medal in men's snowboard slopestyle Sunday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, to give the United States its first medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

The 17-year-old scored an 87.16 in his final run, edging out the Canadian pair of Max Parrot and Mark McMorris. After two disappointing runs, Parrot scored an 86.00 in his third run, while McMorris' 85.20 score from his second run was enough to secure a second straight bronze in snowboard slopestyle.

Gus Kenworthy, who won silver in men's skiing slopestyle at the 2014 Olympics, saluted Gerard on Twitter:

According to ESPN Stats & Info's Paul Carr, Gerard is the youngest American to medal in a snowboarding event at the Olympics, and he's the second-youngest snowboarding medalist of any country.

Gerard's win also gives the U.S. its second victory in slopestyle since it became an official Olympic event in 2014. Sage Kotsenburg won gold in Sochi, Russia, four years ago.

Although he had the fourth-highest score (82.55) during qualifying, things weren't looking good for Gerard heading into the third and final run of the medal round. His two scores of 43.33 and 46.40 had him in last place.

Gerard's reaction upon winning mirrored that of many Americans watching at home:

McMorris may have finished in third, but his bronze medal capped off an incredible comeback after he nearly died following a crash last March. He suffered a broken jaw, broken left arm, ruptured spleen, rib fractures and a collapsed lung.

Last April, McMorris shared a photo of when he was hospitalized:

A little over 10 months later, McMorris was mere points away from Olympic gold.

Parrot's silver medal is his first in the Olympics. He's also a seven-time medalist at the Winter X Games, winning a gold in slopestyle in 2014.

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