Teenage snowboarder Red Gerard takes slopestyle gold

Red Gerard, who is just 17 years old, claimed the gold medal in the slopestyle at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Teenage snowboarder Red Gerard takes slopestyle gold
Laurent Salino/Agence Zoom Getty Images

Snowboarder Red Gerard upset the odds, giving the United States their first medal of the 2018 Pyeongchang Games in his Olympic debut. Gerard won gold in the men's slopestyle en route to becoming the youngest American to win a medal in a snowboard event at the Olympics at just 17 years old.

Gerard matches 90-year record

He became the second-youngest gold medal winner in an individual men's event at the Winter Games, behind only Finn Toni Nieminen, who won the ski jumping aged 16 in 1992. 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). "It feels incredible. I'm just really happy that I got to land a run and I'm just really excited right now," Gerard said.

Redmond Gerard during the Snowboarding Men's Slopestyle Finals at Pheonix Snow Park in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea today.

Gerard was Team USA's only hope for slopestyle as he was the sole American to qualify for the final, and he certainly delivered.  He got off to a poor start as he botched his first run, finishing with a score of 43.33. His second run was not much better as he wiped out and received a score of 46.40. He was in 11th place heading into his third run, but he executed it perfectly, essentially doubling his score with an 87.16, which was good enough to beat Canadian Mark McMorris, who was leading with 85.20.  McMorris was edged out by compatriot Max Parrot for the silver medal. Gerard will also compete in the big air event which is set for 24 February.