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By Mary Rozembajgier
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics have just finished, and the United States ended with a total of 23 medals. This year, four of the United States’ nine gold medals came from our talented snowboarders. Chloe Kim and Redmond Gerard’s gold medals are among the four awarded to USA snowboarders this year. Their snowboarding performances are amazing to watch – even more so considering they are both just 17 years old.
Chloe Kim won gold in the Women’s Snowboarding Halfpipe. After her first two rounds, it was confirmed she would win the gold, so her third round could have just been a victory lap. Instead, Chloe ended on a high note by completing two 1080s and finishing with a score of 98.2 – just short of perfection. She has been snowboarding since the age of 3 and was introduced to the sport by her father. Her scores made her eligible for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but unfortunately she couldn’t compete because she was too young. Watch her stunning final run here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3opTwpiCZ6c
Red Gerard was the other American 17-year-old who struck gold at the Olympics this year. He won the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle. After his first two runs on the course, he was in 12th (last) place. Yet, he worked his way to the top with his final run which included a quarter pipe jump over a rail and a backside triple cork – a feat no other contender had dared to attempt. These tricks escorted him to the podium with the score of 87.16 and the perfect comeback story. At the age of 17, he was the youngest American male to win a medal at the Winter Olympics since 1928. Watch his amazing run here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0nJr_cpYWU
While Kim and Gerard’s victories may seem impossible considering their age, it is comforting to know that they are still normal teenagers. Kim tweeted between her second and third round that she wanted some ice cream. This tweet was later followed by another advising that churros are a great way to cure nervousness. Meanwhile, Gerard overslept after binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine the night before. When he woke up, he stole his roommate’s jacket because he couldn’t find his own while grabbing a last-minute breakfast sandwich. And, after winning in miraculous fashion, he cursed on national television.
Kim and Gerard’s teenage tendencies have been received differently. Some see this as the “typical millennial” – categorizing them as lazy and arrogant. But others have turned to them for inspiration and have gone so far to say they would vote for them as president.
Despite your stance on their personal lives, Kim and Gerard brought the United States huge success at the Winter Olympic Games!
Image courtesy of Time Magazine