Persistent wind alters another Olympic event; women's slopestyle qualifying round canceled

Kristopher Nichols
February 12, 2018

Teenage snowboarder Red Gerard yesterday became the first Winter Olympics champion born this millennium as high winds caused disruption at the Pyeongchang Games.

Gerard, 17, also became the youngest United States men's Olympic champion since 1928 with his victory in slopestyle, with Canada's Max Parrot taking the silver. And that's where his fans were watching from a bar. In the meantime, though, they are just focused on enjoying his first gold medal.

Snowboarding - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Men's Slopestyle Qualification - Phoenix Snow Park - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 10, 2018 - Chris Corning of the usa competes. The International Olympic Committee have made the right decision in allowing clean Russian athletes to compete.

The highest finish by an American in the event belonged to Scott Patterson.

Gerard, renowned for his prowess on rails - thanks in partly to the terrain park in the backyard of his family's Silverthorne home - wove a creative line through the course's byzantine rail section, which offered myriad opportunities for riders.

Gerard's Summit County neighbors Chris Corning and Kyle Mack, as well as 2014 Olympian Ryan Stassel of Alaska, did not advance.

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"He caught wind on run one and just straight aired jump two and jump three", noted Dave Reynolds, co-coach of the U.S. Snowboarding Team.

American teenager Maame Biney advanced safely through to the quarterfinals of the short track 500 meters, and she lit up when talking about her first Olympic experience. He said his choice of music for his runs - yes, the competitors can listen to music on earphones while riding - said it all: "My first run was very determined music, and my second run was more like tropical music, just really happy, you know?", he said.

There is no better start for an athlete at the Olympics, let alone one who is only 17 competing in his very first event. I don't like feeling sad.

He began snowboarding with his brother, Malakai, at just 2 years old - and he has been riding ever since. Curling and biathlon always end up being the events discovered every four years.

On Saturday, Norway's Marit Bjoergen entered the history books at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. "That's very beneficial. I have a 3.9 GPA, something I never thought I would have". This is Kramer's eighth Olympic medal making him the most decorated male Olympic speed skater.

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