American Gerard wins men's snowboard slopestyle at PyeongChang Olympics


At 17, he's already one of those athletes who makes it all look easy.

"I don't understand all the tricks he does", Conrad Gerard said.

Gerard believes taking a risk in the final run was the difference between himself and Parrot.

And once again, it was a gold medal upset. He is also the second-youngest man to win a medal in an individual event. Then he waited as the top qualifiers took their final runs and the magnitude of the moment hit him.

The teenager is also the second-youngest American man to win a Winter Olympics gold medal and the youngest since Billy Fiske (16 in 1928 when winning the five-man bobsleigh). Gerard, a 17-year-old from Colorado, was in last place heading into the final round. Yulia Galysheva of Kazakhstan won bronze to give her country its eighth winter medal since it started competing separately after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

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Hamelin was initially given sixth position in the men's 1,500 metre final before being disqualified. His score of 87.16 was just enough to edge Parrot. "I stayed alert and I took advantage of a couple of falls (in the final)".

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Canadian rider Sebastien Toutant offered his take on the victor. Americans Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim finished fourth in the free skate earning seven points. Carlijn Achtereekte claimed gold, followed by Ireen Wust and Antoinette De Jong.

"I didn't have a flat race and wanted to have a flat race and didn't happen". It's the second medal for McMorris, who put up a score of 85.20, narrowly behind Parrot's 86.00.

In a snowboarding accident previous year, McMorris broke 17 bones and suffered a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen, leaving him fighting for his life.

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"I knew my run would be on the podium so with that being said I was happy and when the score came out and I was second it was something very special".

Then Gerard exhibited the calmness that's become his trademark, executing a brilliant third run with the slightest of flaws.

Canadians Tyler Nicholson and Sebastien Toutant placed 7th and 11th respectively. And the Sochi slopestyle champion took note of that. The average GPA of U.S Ski & Snowboard athletes is 3.6, and they have Monday-Thursday class schedules that leave three days to spend practicing at any of the 10 ski resorts that are less than an hour away from campus. In total, he had 18 people flock to South Korea to watch him shred.

"We're just being patient".

"It does feel a little bit like a win", he said with a smile. "It helps when Kaitlyn is making some great last shots".

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