Gerard captured America's first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games - first medal of any color, in fact - and will soon go on a victory tour he never saw coming, even if the rowdy, red-white-and-blue mosh pit full of friends and family at the bottom envisioned it all along.
Gerard had been in last place before launching his board one last time at scintillating speed in the men's slopestyle final at Phoenix Snow Park to beat all comers.
Gerard was the only competitor among the top 12 to hit a quarter-pipe launch on the second hit. "I just look for different lines", he said, draped in an American flag after dozens of interviews with worldwide media at the base of the slopestyle course. "I'm shaking right now, maybe from the cold, or from the excitement, I don't know", he said, just after finishing his third run on Sunday. "We work really hard and, don't understand me wrong, it's pretty tough sometimes, but in the end I really love what I'm doing and I think that's a big secret to keep motivated every day".
His father, Conrad Gerard, misplaced a ticket to his son's final run but managed to talk his way into the grandstands.
The victor, aged 17, scored 87.16 with only four contestants in the final third round left to compete with.
Canada won its first medals of Pyeongchang 2018 with a silver and bronze in men's slopestyle snowboard.
It could have been Marcus Kleveland, the first man to land a quad cork, trying to become the first Norwegian to win an Olympic snowboarding title. It's the second medal for McMorris, who put up a score of 85.20, narrowly behind Parrot's 86.00. Its limitless rail options played to his strong, inventive rail riding, and his second jump feature included a quarterpipe option he was the only rider in the contest to use.
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"Too unsafe for sure", Parrot said.
"There were a lot of falls, of overtaking and the risk of falling was high", Girard said.
"Very much so, it is really cool that I can snowboard again", he said.
Gerard had to wait to see if his score would stand after completing his run. First, he stopped by International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.
In sports, you can never go wrong with a guy named Red: Red Auerbach, architect of the Boston Celtics dynasty; Red Grange, NFL pioneer and college football legend; Red Holzman, who coached the New York Knicks to their only two National Basketball Association titles. "I mean, that's all I really came here for - just to land a run", he said after qualifiers.
Less than a year after a fall that almost claimed his life, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris was back on the medal podium on Saturday. The U.S.is third, but just one point ahead of Italy and three behind the Russians. He grew up watching the Dew Tour and X Games, the biggest event in snowboarding. "I just wasn't able to execute". "If North and South Korea will send unified teams on sports and all other sectors, we'll have good results", North Korean player Jong Su Hyon said after the game.