[Red Gerard looking stoked, but in no way overwhelmed, by his Olympic victory. Photo: Sam Mellish]
A freckly-faced former child prodigy with tousled, reddish hair rocks up at the Olympics and blows away the competition, winning a gold medal before he’s legally old enough to buy a beer. We’ve been here before. Except that any similarities between Shaun White and Red Gerard, who’s just won the men’s slopestyle here in Pyeongchang, pretty much stop there.
If Shaun is a contest machine, a man who’s rarely seen riding his board outside of the Olympics these days, then Red is the opposite.
“If Shaun is a contest machine, a man who’s rarely seen riding his board outside of the Olympics these days, then Red is the opposite”
“Yeah it’s cool, it’s been pretty fun being here and checking everything out,” he said yesterday when we chatted to him after the qualifiers, totally unfazed by the size or scale of the event. And he seemed more surprised than anybody when he won.
“It’s a little hard to believe for sure. I’m just mind-blown,” he told Onboard and a scrum of waiting reporters. “Honestly I don’t think I’ve had time to let it settle in.” Certainly taking home the gold wasn’t something he was planning for, or at all nervous about. “I was just so excited that I got to land a run. It felt like a good run, I was really excited on it. But I was just hoping I would make the podium.”