In his debut Olympics appearance Sunday, 17-year-old American snowboarder Red Gerard became the first U.S. athlete to claim a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics—and the youngest ever to take the top prize in Olympic snowboarding. “I’m just mind-blown. I can’t believe everything worked out,” Gerard said after his victory at Pheonix Snow Park. Standing on the top spot of the winners’ podium, he said, is “awesome.” The young snowboarder was in last place before his third and final run in men’s snowboard slopestyle, pulling off an upset victory to beat Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris. His win was largely credited to his creative use of the slopestyle course, as he dared to use features ignored by his competitors. Recounting his performance of tricks like a “switch backside 12” and “front double 10 out of the side hit, into a backside double cork” to reporters, Gerard said, “Spins. They’re just spins. A whole bunch of spins.” Gerard, from Colorado, became the youngest American male to claim a gold at the Winter Olympics since 1928.
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