Red Gerard competes in the men's big air qualification at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on Feb. 21, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Three of the four U.S. men’s snowboarders who competed in the inaugural Olympic event have advanced to the final.
Seventeen-year-old Red Gerard, who won the slopestyle gold medal last week, moved on to Saturday’s final for a chance at his second medal of the Games. He will be joined by teammates Kyle Mack and Chris Corning, who all placed in the top six in their qualifying heat on Wednesday.
Mack, 20, hit two solid backside double cork 1440s that put him in second place after the first run with an 87.25, and third after the second run with an 88.75.
The goofy-footed Corning, 18, used the same trick and was fourth after his first run and moved temporarily into second after his second run with an 88.00 before finishing fourth in the first of two qualifying heats.
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Gerard hit two backside triple cork 1440s, the same as he used for the final trick that clinched the gold medal in slopestyle and made him youngest snowboarding gold medalist in Olympic history and Team USA’s youngest men’s gold medalist since 1928.
He is also the first Winter Olympic gold medalist born after Jan. 1, 2000.
Gerard scored 82.00 on his first run for seventh place, one slot out of qualifying. He then threw down bigger air on his final run for an 85.00 as the sixth rider, waiting out 10 more competitors before his advancement to the final was confirmed.
Canada’s Max Parrot, a four-time X Games gold medalist in big air, led with an 89.25 after the opening run, then put up a 92.50 on his second run in the first heat with a 1440 and more amplitude than he hit with the same trick on the opening run. New Zealand’s Carlos Garcia Knight hit the biggest score with a 97.50 with his second run in the second heat.
Two-time Olympian Ryan Stassel, 25, from Anchorage, Alaska, competed in the second heat and did not advance after scoring 76.25 on his second run, finishing 13th in his heat.
Gary R. Blockus is a journalist from Allentown, Pennsylvania who has covered multiple Olympic Games. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.orgon behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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