Olympic Roundup: Parrot leads as Canada dominates men's slopestyle qualifying

Esther Moore
February 12, 2018

Red Gerard, gold-medal victor in men's slopestyle final at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11.

Seventeen-year-old Red Gerard, from Silverthorne, Colorado, in his debut Olympics, won the men's slopestyle snowboarding competition.

Norwegians Staale Sandbech and Markus Kleveland slipped up during their last shots, too, leaving only Parrot in Gerard's way.

Where competitors were scheduled to take three runs each in the final round with only their best score counting in the standings, now snowboarders will only have two runs each. He is also the second-youngest man to win a medal in an individual event.

Gerard's ability to cope with Olympic pressure could be due to his lack of obsession with winning at the Games. With another trip to the awards podium, he would become the first snowboarder to win two medals at a single Olympics.

"If there is one thing I can be proud of is that I reached the final of the 1,500 meters for a third time in four Games".

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After botching the first run, Gerard wiped out in his second run and seemed to tweak his back, causing the commentators to wonder if he'd be 100 percent for his third and final run.

The final will still be held Monday (Sunday night in the U.S.), but all 27 athletes will now compete in the final, and it will be a two-run format.

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 USA medalist at these Games. I think the judges liked that. "I mean, I guess I've done it so much it just kind of feels pretty natural to me now, but it's definitely a pretty cool feeling, I would say". I just got here a little late. "I just kind of grew up watching Dew Tour and X Games".

McMorris' second bronze medal came less than 12 months removed from a harrowing free-riding accident that left him with a litany of injuries and threatened to put his career at risk. "I had a lot of pressure and my heart was beating really fast before starting on the course". He beat Max Parrot and Mark McMorris.

"The rails are really high", Parrot said.

McMorris's remarkable feat after cheating death did not go unnoticed by United States ski "queen" Lindsey Vonn, who tweeted a split photo, one half of the Canadian in a hospital bed with numerous tubes attached to him and the other showing him smiling and a superimposed bronze medal.

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