Red Gerard competes during the men's snowboard slopestyle finals at the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on Feb, 7, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – More experienced and prepared this time around, U.S. snowboarder Red Gerard came into the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 with the main mission of defending his 2018 Olympic gold medal.
It was not to be.
The Silverthorne, Colorado, native was in bronze-medal contention towards the end of the third and final round in the snowboard slopestyle finals on a surprisingly “warm” and sunny day at Genting Snow Park. Gerard fell during that run, however, basing his final score on his first-round run where he scored 83.25, featuring a pair of 1620s.
“I’m feeling good because I’m happy that I landed my first run,” the 21-year-old said. “Not ideally how I wanted to go. … That’s just the way it goes sometimes, and you just take it and put on a smile. There’s going to be another contest soon probably, so just go from there.”
2018 Olympic bronze medalist Mark McMorris from Canada edged Gerard out of medal contention after scoring an 88.53 to close out the final round. Fellow Canadian and 2018 Olympic silver medalist Max Parrot won gold, scoring 90.96. China’s young superstar Su Yiming, 17, took silver following his technical run that earned him 88.70.
Gerard, the defending Olympic champion, still believed he hit one of his best runs in competition yet.
“Fourth never feels good. You’re one off from being cool,” Gerard said. “I haven’t really fully put it together yet. I’m just happy that I landed a run, and I’m really happy with the run, probably the best I’ve ever done. Just taking the good out of it. All in all, I’ll take a fourth place.
“As a kid, I used to be so happy with that expectation just going a little higher. So, you’re going to have to be happy with where I’m at with snowboarding and representing USA is incredible. Being here with some of my best friends and my teammates in insane.”