According to The Denver Post, Gerard showed up in South Korea like "an accidental tourist," insisting that "I honestly don't know what the Olympics is."
His father, Conrad Gerard, misplaced a ticket to his son’s final run but managed to talk his way into the grandstands.
“I was jerking around with tickets. What can you say?” Conrad Gerard told the Post. “So what if I missed the first run, which I did. I just got here a little late. But I saw what counted. And it was surreal. I mean, are you kidding me? My son just won an Olympic gold medal.”
Red Gerard’s gold-medal run included a backslide triple cork 1440 that wowed the judges.
It was culmination of a career that began when he was 2 years old. When his family moved to Colorado, Gerard’s career took off. He had a sponsorship deal by the time he was 11, the Post reported.
His family built a snowboard park in his backyard, but it was Sage Kotsenburg’s gold-medal winning effort in the men’s snowboard slopestyle final at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games that proved to be Gerard’s biggest inspiration.
"I was like, this can not be right," he told NBC Sports in 2017. "He won, and he was doing some crazy grabs. That's what really got my mind flowing on style stuff and making snowboarding different, to be honest."
Gerard isn’t finished competing yet. He will be in action Feb. 20 in the qualifying round for the Big Air snowboarding competition, which is making its Olympic debut. If he gets to the final, Gerard will compete for a medal on Feb. 23.