Red Gerard's wild ride: 6 things to know about USA's new Olympic snowboard hero

One look at Redmond Gerard -- Red, for short -- and you would likely never guess that he's America's newest star athlete. Hell, even his name sounds more like someone you'd hear come out of the English Premier League than the American ski slopes. 

But the 5-foot-5, 115-pound red-headed snowboarder originally from Ohio put the world on notice this weekend at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, securing the United States' first gold medal of the Games. In the process, the 17-year-old became the youngest American male to medal at the Winter Olympics since 1928, and the first medalist born in the 21st century. 

Here are six things to know about America's newest Olympic hero. 

He went from last to first with one magical run

Gerard was sitting dead last in the men's slopestyle final early Sunday in South Korea after his first two runs down the course. But he crushed his final run to put up a score of 87.16 in dramatic fashion. During his winning run, the teenager was also the only competitor in the field of 12 to take a route that included a quarterpipe jump over a rail and to stick a backside triple cork 1440 off the last kicker, which helped him find reach the top of the podium.

He dropped an F-bomb on live TV

After edging out Canadian Max Parrot to secure the gold, Gerard was caught on camera covering his goggles with his gloves and uttering something you'd expect from a teenager who just realized a dream.

"Holy F---."

He followed up with another expletive after finding out that former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar tweeted about him.

He's got a big family 

Gerard is the second-youngest of seven children in the Gerard family. The Gerard clan was 17 deep at the men's slopestyle final and could be seen slugging cans of beer while celebrating Gerard's run. 

"I don't understand all the tricks he does," Gerard's father, Conrad, told the AP. "I asked my boys, 'Was that good?' They said, 'Yeah, it's good.' "  

He's got Ohio roots

After picking up the sport as a youngster in Ohio, Gerard's parents moved the family to the mountains of Colorado, helping him continue to develop his promising talent on the slopes. But the Ohio connection is still strong. Gerard's father wore a Browns cap at the bottom of the course on Sunday, and check out the reaction from locals in a bar in Gerard's hometown of Rocky River, Ohio, when he took home the gold. 

He has a terrain park in his backyard

No, seriousy. The family built a terrain park in their backyard in Colorado. Gerard soon became somewhat of a snowboard prodigy -- a new breed for the next generation. Click here to check out this cool feature from NBC  on the rail park where he grew up honing his skills. 

He didn't grow up wanting to be an Olympian

"I just didn't think I knew what the Olympics is (as a kid)," Gerard said earlier this week, via The Telegraph. "I just kind of grew up watching Dew Tour and X Games. I never really realized how big it is."

It appears that he may now find out how big it is, as he's officially gone from snowboard prodigy to snowboard royalty in South Korea. He may be little in stature, but he's America's first big star at the Pyeongchang Games. 

Medal Tracker
PyeongChang 2018
NOR 14 14 11 39
GER 14 10 7 31
CAN 11 8 10 29
USA 9 8 6 23
NED 8 6 6 20
SWE 7 6 1 14
KOR 5 8 4 17
SUI 5 6 4 15
FRA 5 4 6 15
AUT 5 3 6 14
JPN 4 5 4 13
ITA 3 2 5 10
OAR 2 6 9 17
CZE 2 2 3 7
BLR 2 1 0 3
CHN 1 6 2 9
SVK 1 2 0 3
FIN 1 1 4 6
GBR 1 0 4 5
POL 1 0 1 2
HUN 1 0 0 1
UKR 1 0 0 1
AUS 0 2 1 3
SLO 0 1 1 2
BEL 0 1 0 1
ESP 0 0 2 2
NZL 0 0 2 2
LIE 0 0 1 1
KAZ 0 0 1 1
LAT 0 0 1 1

For more Olympics coverage, stay with CBS Sports throughout the Winter Games.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories