Ohio native Gerard wins gold in slopestyle


Ohio native Gerard wins gold in slopestyle

Red Gerard and his brothers built their own snowboarding features park in the backyard of their Colorado home as kids, one that provided them a gateway into a sport that is an equal mix of technical precision and daring creativity.

Halfway across the world from his makeshift beginnings, the teenager made the Olympic stage look like just another afternoon back in Silverthorne, Colo

The 17-year-old Ohio native won gold in men’s slopestyle snowboarding today, drilling his final run to put up a score of 87.16, good enough to edge Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris and give the United States its first gold medal at the Pyeongchang Games.

Gerard stumbled his way through his opening two runs at tricky, slick and sun-splashed Phoenix Snow Park. It hardly mattered. He found redemption his third time through the course, using some of the techniques he first learned in his backyard to navigate the series of rails at the top of the course before soaring through the moonscape at the bottom.

He exulted in the moment as he took a few minutes to chat with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach while seeing if McMorris or Parrot could catch him.

Strong winds cause event to be postponed

Fierce wind forced the Olympic men’s downhill to be postponed, moving the marquee race from its traditional place opening the Alpine program.

The first race on an 11-event Alpine schedule was shelved three hours before the start time at the Jeongseon hill, and organizers said they would now try to hold the men’s downhill on Thursday.

“It’s imperative with fair conditions and I applaud the decision. Thanks,” Kjetil Jansrud of Norway, one of the gold medal favorites, wrote on Twitter .

Racers risk being blown off a safe racing line on a course where they hit speeds of about 75 mph.

Kalla wins first gold medal of Games

Charlotte Kalla won the first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games a few hours before Lim Hyo-jun earned host country South Korea its first gold.

In the first medal event of the Winter Olympics, Kalla won the women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon by more than seven seconds. Later in the day, Lim crossed the finish line first in the men’s 1,500-meter short-track speedskating event, setting off a huge roar from a capacity crowd at Gangneung Ice Arena.

Lim pushed past Sjinkie Knegt of the Netherlands, finishing in an Olympic-record of 2 minutes, 10.485 seconds. Knegt won silver while bronze went to Semen Elistratov, who was the first Russian medalist of the games.

For Kalla, it was her sixth career Olympic medal — and third gold.

Marit Bjoergen finished behind Kalla for silver, but made Olympic history by becoming the most decorated female Winter Olympian. The Norwegian won her 11th career medal to break a tie with Raisa Smetanina of Russia and Stefania Belmondo of Italy.

Kalla pulled away during the last half of the race in a dominant finish.

“It feels very good to be ahead of Marit,” the Swede said. “She’s a fantastic skier.”

The 37-year-old Bjoergen raised her arms as she crossed the finish, knowing she reached the career milestone. Norway also tied Russia for the most medals of all time in women’s cross-country skiing with 37.

“I have been very good for many years,” Bjoergen said, “but I’m also getting older and the younger girls are getting better.”

Dutch sweep women’s 3,000-meter medals

The Dutch are off to a great start on the Olympic speedskating oval again with a sweep of the medals in the women’s 3,000-meter race.

Carlijn Achtereekte surprisingly beat two-time 3,000-meter champion Ireen Wust. Antoinette de Jong finished third for the bronze.

The Netherlands won 23 of 36 speedskating medals in Sochi four years ago.

Switzerland routs Korean hockey team

Alina Muller scored four goals, including three in the first period, to lead Switzerland over Korea 8-0 in the preliminary round for women’s hockey.

The first combined Korean team was clearly overmatched by the Swiss, but that didn’t mute fans’ enthusiasm for a team dressing three North Koreans.

— Sara Hjalmarsson scored 1:53 into the third period and Sweden held off Japan 2-1 earlier Saturday.

Germany’s Dalmeier, Wellinger capture gold

Laura Dahlmeier pushed through bitterly cold conditions to win gold in the women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint biathlon after hitting all 10 of her targets.

Marte Olsbu of Norway won silver and Veronika Vitkova of the Czech Republic earned bronze.

Andreas Wellinger won the gold in men’s ski jumping. Norway won the silver and bronze with Johann Andre Forfang in second and Robert Johansson in third.

Associated Press

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