After making my rounds of data collection, I had the great opportunity to watch the men’s slopestyle snowboarding final. The only American in the finals, Red Gerard, was currently in last place after his first two runs and it seemed that a medal for Team USA was not in the cards. As the other athletes completed their third runs, one by one it seemed that Team Canada would take Gold. But, Red Gerard completed his third run in style and soared into 1st place to knock Team Canada into 2nd place. However, the competition was not over, Team Canada’s Max Perrot was also waiting for his turn at redemption with his third run. After a perfect run from Max Perrot, there was extreme tension in the stands as many spectators represented both Canada and the USA. Spectators were anxiously awaiting the announcement of Max Perrot’s score and whether he or Red Gerard would take home Olympic Gold.
As Max Perrot’s score was announced, cheers erupted from the USA fans as it became official that Red Gerard would take home the gold medal. Not only was this Team USA’s first medal of the 2018 Olympic Games, but Red Gerard, at age 17, also became the youngest gold medalist in snowboarding ever. Being a part of the atmosphere and excitement was a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be replicated on television. This was the first medal for Team USA and I hope to witness more as the Games continue.