Bed Head Red Grabs Gold in the Snowboarding

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Redmond Gerard wins the first Gold medal of the games for USA, snatching victory from the jaws of the Norwegians and Canadians.

Boy Wonder, 17-year-old Redmond Gerard stormed from 11th place out of twelve in the Men’s Slopestyle Snowboarding event to storm home to a gold, at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018.

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The young American’s comeback was like a feel-good Hollywood film ending

The 5’5”, eight-and-a-half stone snowboarder had a disappointing two initial runs, conjuring up no more than the mid-40’s, after scraping the snow.  In the men’s finals the athletes are given three turns each, with the best score counting towards the final one.  As the contestants take their turn on the next round in reverse order, with the lowest scorers in the previous round going first, young Red suddenly found himself way out in front with a massive score of 87.17, after his third and last attempt.  He then had to sit back in suspense whilst the favourite top scorers took their turn.

Red Gerard sat with his hand over his ears during a tense wait

Canada’s Mark McMorris chalked up a splendid run, just falling short of Gerard’s score, with 85.20, for the Bronze.  He had come back from some terrible injuries just eleven months before.  Then came a shock, as the hitherto struggling Max Parrott, also of Canada, somewhat unexpectedly came good and soared to a wonderful performance.  Everybody held their breath waiting for the score.  An amazing 86.00, to snatch Silver.

A huge roar went up as the crowd realised Gerard of the USA had done it

All pandemonium broke out as Gerard’s family crowd of 17-strong celebrated at the foot of the mountain slope.  Favourites Norwegian Marcus Kleveland, ranked no.1 in the world beforehand, and Norway’s Staale Sandbech, failed to improve on their scores, in the upper 70’s.

Red Gerard could be audibly heard saying, ‘What the F***?’ after his run and ‘Holy Sh**!’ on realising he had taken gold.

The sportsworld is stunned to see Gerard’s cheeky boyish looks underneath the ski-mask

It did not become apparent how young Gerard was until he removed his headgear, to reveal a smiling Bart Simpson-style ‘bed head‘.   The BBC Sports commentator covering the event live was heard to remark, ‘This makes him look incredibly young’ as he was presented with a cuddly-shaped Siberian tiger, the Winter Olympics mascot for these games.

However, despite Gerard’s incredulity at winning the first gold medal of the games for the USA, he told reporters, ‘I am just a day-by-day kinda guy’.

And modest, too.

Snowboarding from the age of two

Originally from Ohio, the teen, who will be 18 in the summer, relocated with his family to Colorado and set up their own snow park in their back yard.  The family set up a series of rails and a tow rope to move easily from one side to the other.  Thus, Red was well prepared on encountering the rails at Pyeonchang.

In a video he recorded for his sponsors, Burton, who supply his snowboard, Red remarks that mastering the rail slide is worth as many marks as air flips as far as  the judges are concerned.  He has developed his own unique style for taking these.  Expect to see others copying it in the Olympics to come.

Gerard says he restrains himself to three and a half loops with a back flip, in the aerodynamics, deeming the record four and half ones too life threatening.

Doing the thing he loves most and getting a gold medal for it.

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