Wednesday, 21 February, 2018

Teen Gerard wins slopestyle snowboarding for USA's 1st gold

Canada wins two Olympic medals in slopestyle snowboarding Teen Gerard wins slopestyle snowboarding for USA's 1st gold
Eugene Bates | 12 February, 2018, 02:08

Champion Redmond Gerard of the USA (C), second-placed Max Parrot of Canada (L) and third-placed Mark Mcmorris of Canada pose for group pohotos after the Men's Snowboard Slopestyle at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at the Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 11, 2018.

It was 17-year-old American, Redmond Gerard, who did what Toutant couldn't, delivering a near flawless final run for a score of 87.16 and a gold medal position.

Canadian Maxence Parrot took silver with his final run, tipping compatriot Mark McMorris - the leader after two completed rounds - into the bronze medal position.

McMorris and Parrot were two of four Canadians in Sunday morning's finals, joined by Tyler Nicholson and Sebastien Toutant after impressive qualifying runs on Saturday.

Ted-Jan Bloemen's silver in the 5,000-metre finals was Canada's first men's medal at that distance since Willy Logan's bronze at the 1932 Games in Lake Placid.

After all that, he said Sunday that bronze felt like winning gold.

It's a disappointing finish for Nicholson but his Olympic games are not finished yet.

McMorris, less than a year removed from a backcountry crash that left him with life-threatening injuries, stomped two clean runs, his second earning 86.83 points. McMorris tried to answer with a backside 1620 but fell in his final run.

The 24-year-old from Regina suffered breaks to his jaw and left arm, a ruptured spleen, a stable pelvic fracture, rib fractures and a collapsed left lung.

What followed was an arduous recovery process, including 10 days in the hospital, a liquid diet that lasted six weeks and hours of daily physical therapy. "I probably shouldn't even be here", said McMorris.

In women's slopestyle, Laurie Blouin of Stoneham, Que., was cleared to return to the hill after suffering an apparent head injury during a training session earlier this week at Phoenix Park.

"Canadian snowboarder Laurie Blouin has been cleared for practice by Team Canada medical staff", Canada Snowboard spokesman Brendan Matthews said in an email.

Most of the slopestyle competitors will also compete in the big air event in Pyeongchang, a new addition to the Olympic program for 2018. You can't fall a third straight time.

The gold medal went to the 17 year old American, Redmond Gerard.

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