Teenager Wins First US Gold Medal at Pyeongchang Olympics

The Olympics might miss Sage Kotsenburg but the Park City snowboarder isn’t exactly missing them

Listed at 5-foot-5 and 116 pounds (1.65 meters and 53 kilograms), he does not overpower courses and slam down landings the way that, say, silver and bronze medalists Max Parrot and Mark McMorris of Canada often do. The Silverthorne, Colo. resident put down one of the most hard and creative runs of the qualifying heats to punch a ticket to the finals on February 11.

Gerard's second run earned just a 57.11, but his finals status was all but confirmed after the first run.

Laffont, 19, scored 78.65 for a narrow win over Canada's Dufour-Lapointe, while Yulia Galysheva was third - winning only the second ever Winter Games medal for Kazakhstan.

"It feels incredible. I'm just really happy that I got to land a run and I'm just really excited right now", Gerard said.

"It's a decent result but I'm not at the Olympics to come seventh".

A team spokesperson said on Saturday that Blouin may still compete and that she is still recovering from the hard fall.

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McMorris's career was very much on the upwards trajectory.

"I was completely last in the group so I had to start the race again and switch focus to catch up with the guys". After the backcountry crash, McMorris spent 10 days in hospital before beginning the slow road back. "Not being able to really talk or anything like that".

Snowboarder Gerard, 17, who hopes to one day become a firefighter, turned the heat up on the freezing slopes to seal a late bid for Olympic glory. As soon as the helicopter got there (90 minutes later) I went to sleep. "So I'm glad I can be in the position I am to motivate".

"It's been some low times, but these high times make it worthwhile", he said. "In the air on the last jump, I was thinking, 'Don't blow it. Let's not ruin it on the last jump".

On a day when the men's downhill, with two Norwegian favorites, was postponed, it was the flawless opportunity for Kleveland to make a landmark moment in his nation's sports history. He is also the second-youngest man to win a medal in an individual event. Tyler Nicholson of North Bay, Ont., was seventh and Sebastien Toutant of L'Assomption, Que., was 11th. Organizers chose to schedule a two-run final instead on Monday. He has a chance at a second medal when he competes in big air on February 21. Men's qualifying heats are scheduled for February 20 at 7:30 pm EST, with the final airing on February 23 at 8pm EST.

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