Good as Gold: Catching Up With Slopestyle's Reigning Olympic Champ Red Gerard

It was the tail finish of Colorado’s largest storm of the yr. The morning was an all-time powder day for the books. But there was Red Gerard, composed with none signal of getting ridden that morning.

His motive for the uncanny restraint had much less to do with preparation for the Dew Tour finals to come back the next day. Red was merely exhausted.

“I have ridden every day since the first of last month,” Gerard stated. “I took today off to just rest.”

The willpower paid off. This weekend, Gerard received his first-ever Dew Tour occasion in entrance of household and associates at his dwelling mountain, Copper. The slopestyle win got here nearly precisely two years after his Olympic gold medal victory in the identical self-discipline at age 17, when Gerard burst into international prominence as the youngest snowboarder to ever medal, as properly as the youngest male winter Olympian to win gold in practically a century of the video games.

Regardless of the moment notoriety from PyeongChang 2018, Gerard says he would like to not be remembered as the child who received the Olympics. Although he overtly admits curiosity in incomes one other alternative to do it yet again, he’d want the win be thought-about simply one of many many issues that he’s completed.

“Straight up, rolling into the Olympics I had no clue that it was that big of a deal. I think that is part of why I would like to go again, to just take in more of everything that goes on,” Gerard defined of his first-ever Olympics. “There are so many cool things that are happening, and so many things that you don’t support as well—but I feel like that happens with anything.”

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Celebrating Dew Tour slopestyle gold. Courtesy Dew Tour/DODDS

What’s Gerard supporting? In the meanwhile, it’s extra snowboarding. And final yr, he had already added extra to his plate than ever earlier than. Not solely did he sustain together with his loopy contest schedule, which requires common journey around the globe, however he additionally put within the effort and time to movie a video half fully within the backcountry for the impartial snowboard film, Pleasure.

“It was so gnarly trying to balance contests and filming,” Gerard stated. “It was the most hectic season I’ve ever had, for sure. But, it was really addicting. I liked it a lot and I am doing it again this year. I’m going to do contests and film.”

So as to add to the accolade pile, final week Pleasure received the Film of the 12 months class on the inaugural Snowboarder Awards. Along with being on the set of featured riders, Gerard was additionally nominated for the Rider of the 12 months award alongside legendary riders Travis Rice and Sage Kotsenburg (Kotsenburg being the one different Olympic gold medalist in snowboard slopestyle).

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Gerard with the ‘Joy’ crew on the Snowboarder Awards. Courtesy Dew Tour/kanights

Then got here the Dew Tour slopestyle win two days later in opposition to a stacked subject of rivals, together with fellow Olympic medalists Mark McMorris, Stale Sandbech, Max Parrot and lots of extra. Regardless of situations making for a troublesome bounce part solely permitting a number of riders to land triple cork methods, Gerard stood aside by touchdown the one change bottom triple cork 1260.

Whether or not you name it home-field benefit, Gerard has put within the time on his snowboard, beginning at age 2 and influenced by his brothers. By 7, his dad and mom determined to separate their time between Ohio within the summers (the place Gerard was born) and Colorado for the winters. Earlier than he was even a youngster, the transfer to Colorado turned full-time. Now at 19, he’s capturing marquee movie segments and successful contests in opposition to the world’s greatest. All of a sudden he’s not some child, however reasonably a stakeholder within the sport fascinated by the following steps in how you can form its development. That look forward begins with the present contest construction.

“It’s so hard because half of the contests we do are the FIS (International Ski Federation) contests, and they really can’t do anything,” defined Gerard. “They have guidelines, or something, and it’s not even worth trying to talk to them about it.”

Then there are the opposite mainstays in snowboarding competitors.

“Dew Tour, X Games and the [Burton U.S.] Open—I have always been a big fan of their courses,” stated Gerard, acknowledging that creativity in course design remains to be current in at present’s contests. “Those three contests, every time I go to one, I show up with no clue what is going to be in the course, I just know it is going to be crazy.”

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Gerard’s successful run on the 2020 Winter Dew Tour mens slopestyle closing. Courtesy Dew Tour/DODDS

To the query of growing a slopestyle course: “If I had been to do it, it could be similar to the Half Park run that [Danny Davis] designed at Peace Park. I used to be an enormous fan of that. A [major] contest like that’s going to need to occur, with slopestyle and halfpipe reaching this peak. That’s one thing I’m absolutely in help of.”

Maybe Winter Dew Tour 2021 will likely be Gerard’s alternative to indicate the world his imaginative and prescient of a marquee snowboarding contest. In any case, he does experience for the occasion’s two largest sponsors, Mountain Dew and Toyota. No matter what Gerard does as a person, he has a message for all the elite snowboard athletes competing on the sport’s highest degree.

“One thing that I think we can do as riders is be more involved,” Gerard expressed when reflecting on among the Riders Conferences he has attended throughout present occasions. “That is one of my priorities: to get more involved.”

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