Red Gerard wins gold in snowboard slopestyle, first US medal at Winter Olympics

Rachel Axon

 |  USA TODAY Sports

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – Red Gerard has never been afraid to do his own thing, to carve his own path.

So an Olympic final wasn’t the time to start following his competitors’ lead. Gerard’s choice paid off big, leading him to a gold medal he never quite expected to win.

The 17-year-old became the first American to medal in the Pyeongchang Games, putting down a creative, stylish and clean run here at Phoenix Snow Park to best a field full of Canadians and Norwegians.

Though not quite as improbable as Sage Kotsenburg’s win four years ago, Gerard’s victory came because he set himself apart from the other riders – namely by being the only one

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