United States up to seven medals in 2018 Winter Olympics: United States up to seven medals in 2018 Winter Olympics

Jake McDonnell, Sports Editor

     On Saturday in Pyeongchang, the United States won their first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics. In the men’s Slopestyle event, 17-year-old Red Gerard from Colorado received a score of 87.16 from the judges, placing him into first place.

     For the second time in a row in the Winter Olympics, the first U.S. medal came in the snowboard slopestyle, and once again it was an upset. It was a come-from-behind win for Gerard, as the Colorado native struggled in his first two runs and found himself sitting in last place before the final jump. The first jump resulted in a switch backside 1260 on an angle, and on the second jump Gerard did a double cork off the quarterpipe takeoff. On the third and final jump, Gerard stepped up and scored a clean backside triple cork 1440.

     While the gold went to the United States in this event for the second time in a row, the silver and bronze went to Canada’s Mark McMorris and Marcus Kleveland or Norway, who entered Saturday as two favorites in the event.

      As if winning the first gold medal for the United States in the 2018 Winter Olympics was not enough, Gerard passed other landmarks to go along with his first-place finish. Along with the gold, Gerard is now the youngest Olympic snowboarding champion ever, and he is the first athlete born in the 2000’s to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. Needless to say, at the young age of 17, Gerard has plenty of time to add to his resume.

     Gerard’s victory on Saturday would not be the only medal of the weekend for the United States. On Sunday in the singles luge event, Chris Mazdzer became the first man to medal in the event for the United States. Erin Hamlin’s bronze medal in 2014 marked the first USA women’s medal in the event.
Mazdzer, after finishing fifth in the opening run, took second and first place in the second and third runs to land himself a second-place finish and a silver medal. Mazdzer, a 29-year-old Connecticut native, is now a three-time medalist competing in the Olympics for the third time.

     Also on Sunday, another 17-year old won gold for the United States. Chloe Kim of California earned her first Olympic gold medal in the women’s snowboard half-pipe. In her first run, she scored a 93.75, giving her a huge advantage over the opposition. By the time the third run came around, Kim had already won the event.

     The third medal for the United States was won by 27-year-old Jamie Anderson, also of California. Anderson, competing in the women’s snowboard freestyle, scored an 83.00 on her first run. She beat out Laurie Blouin of Canada by nearly six points. This is the second time in a row that Anderson has won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, the first being in 2014. Finally, on Tuesday night, 31-year-old Shaun White won the fourth gold medal for the United States in the men’s snowboard halfpipe with a score of 97.75.

      Along with four gold medals and a silver medal, the United States has also won two bronze medals to give them a grand total of seven medals. The team USA figure-stating team, consisting of Mirai Nagasu, Bradie Tennell, Nathan Chen, Adam Rippon, Alexa Scimeca Knierim, Chris Knierim, Maia Shibutani, and Alex Shibutani, took bronze on Monday, and on Tuesday, 21-year-old Arielle Gold of Colorado earned a bronze in the halfpipe event.
As of Wednesday morning, the United States is up to seven medals – four gold, one silver, and two bronze. Germany currently holds the most medals in the Olympics with seven gold, two silver, and three bronze for a total of 12. The Netherlands (five gold, four silver, two bronze) and Norway (three gold, five silver, three bronze) both own 11, and Canada (three gold, four silver, three bronze) has 10.
The 2018 Winter Olympics run through Feb. 25.