23/05/2022

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How Slopestyle Gold Medalist Red Gerard Keeps His Cool

Snowboarder Pink Gerard returned to the United States from the 2018 Winter season Olympic Game titles in Pyeongchang at the age of 17 with a gold in slopestyle all-around his neck. The youngest individual at any time to get a snowboarding gold for Team Usa, he garnered consideration for his youth, talent, and laid-back again nonchalance. A gifted athlete with a pleasant, effortless demeanor, he designed currently being an elite athlete look quick. There was a little time for the dreamscape to continue—riding a high from the components, A-checklist sponsorships, and ensuing late-night time discuss exhibit circuits—before returning property to three of his brothers in Silverthorne, CO, who instantly reminded him to do the dishes and take out the trash.

We spoke with Gerard about what it feels like up at the gate ahead of a race, the great importance of family members (he’s a person of eight children) in remaining grounded, and how the 2022 Olympics have a unique meaning this time all around.

Red Gerard reacts to his results in the slopestyle Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain
Pink Gerard reacts to his success through the Olympic qualifier at Copper Mountain. Courtesy Picture

Men’s Journal: How numerous snowboarders will be representing Workforce United states this year and who are your major rivals?

Red Gerard: Staff United states of america will be four men and four girls. As significantly as our most important rivals, Canada and Norway always have rather good teams. If I experienced to concentrate on an individual exclusively, I’d say Marcus Kleveland from Norway. He’s really fantastic at what he does, and somebody I grew up seeing and looking up to. He was the man all my teammates watched as well, even ahead of we made the U.S. Countrywide Staff. He was just this insane kid who could do double courts—and we’re all, “Oh my God. I want to be this child.” And now I’m up from him.

What is also great is that anyone in our sport is so pleasant. You count on individuals you grew up looking at to be these major experienced athletes, then you meet them and they’re just these great, humble gentlemen and girls.

What does loved ones suggest to you?

My relatives is every little thing. I really feel so blessed to have these a significant one particular and I like them all so considerably. There have been many moments where by they’ve helped me along when I’m stressed out, or just retained me grounded through tiny victories along the way. Folks question me who my ideal good friends are. They are relatives.

You exude buoyancy and levity. How do you remain grounded as an internationally acknowledged athlete going into your 2nd Game titles at the age of 21?

I go golfing with my cousin just about every day following he’s completed functioning. I also dwell with my brothers. It’s the simple things: carrying out dishes, using out the trash. I’m no greater than them in any way, and which is what allows maintain me grounded. No make a difference how a great deal I gain, eliminate, realize success, or entice media attention, I’m continue to their minimal brother. So they are always form of beating up on me and preserving me in line. They never let me fail to remember that I’m the minor brother!

Also currently being all-around a substantial loved ones, I roll conveniently with a good deal of individuals. It makes currently being on the road simpler for me than it is for athletes who’ve in no way experienced that constant motion and energy. There are a lot of individuals on the team from lesser family members than my have, and I imagine they do struggle with staying about a whole lot of men and women for that long—especially staying on the street for months on conclude. A ton of situations, you never actually have a ton of personal place although touring mainly because we’re constantly rooming with an individual. That does not bother me at all simply because that’s just how I grew up—y’know, in a house exactly where there were being 10 of us.

Has Covid impacted your education? Is it a psychological hurdle at all for you?

No. Clearly, there’s often that scare of obtaining sick, particularly so significantly away from property. I got it in August 2020 and was blessed it did not do a great deal to me. That boosted my self-confidence about touring. The demanding testing and keeping in a bubble is a little troublesome but required, and by now I have gotten utilised to that.

How do you strategy teaching physically and mentally for your runs?

At this point, I have been accomplishing it for so very long it just feels definitely natural. At the education camps, I’ll have a few of methods I want to understand and I’ll just slowly chip away at attempting to attain my aim. Following, it’s all about making an attempt to address my human body for the subsequent day simply because it does get quite sore, specifically if I’m coaching seven days a week on snow. Immediately after snowboarding, I stretch and get in the ice bath for maintenance. In the spring when times are more time, we have entire times. It is so pleasurable. We’re linking up, snowboarding, then obtaining off the hill and likely skateboarding, then ending it with golf. By then I’m so torn up.

Snowboarder Red Gerard performing a Switchback 1620 at Mammoth Mtn's US Grand Prix Slopestyle

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How significantly coaching do you need to have if you’ve been on the snow due to the fact you were being two?

My coaches are out there each individual day with me. I’ve been with Dave Reynolds considering the fact that becoming a member of the U.S. staff when I was 13. I have a seriously great romance with him and consider him to be just one of my closest buddies.

All my brothers were being into snowboarding when I was escalating up and it was often a lot more about finding in a good groove and using with close friends. That’s when you tend to learn tricks and snowboard better—when you’re just out having fun, so that’s how it is on the mountain. Clearly, it is on a different scale now that we’re carrying out more substantial tips and all that. I think all of that tends to make me really coachable.

Are you organizing any new methods you have not accomplished right before?

For certain. Each individual time we go to those people teaching camps, we always have tips we want to do. Proper now, it would seem the trick in snowboarding is 1620s and figuring all those out. That is been the goal—to get individuals dialed. Luckily enough, I come to feel I have accomplished a few of them and now it is just making an attempt to get to that comfort and ease level in which I come to feel like I can do it in terrible climate. I can’t be terrified of the trick.

Do you also educate on a trampoline or is it all open up-air on the mountain now?

I did a lot of that when I was more youthful. Then as I got older I recognized that the trampoline begun to harm my overall body extra, so I stopped. Now, it’s just all up on the mountain. You just get the job done by yourself up to it. There is of course a amount of dedication when it comes to competing at this amount. For me, a great deal of it is mental. Picturing it in my brain and accomplishing it in my head—a million situations more than and in excess of, till it’s time to basically execute it. Then at that stage, you just type of go out and do it.

Have you ever had a significant personal injury?

I’m fortunate. Knock on wooden, I’ve in no way broken a bone or anything at all. Last 12 months, I did have a ligament challenge and knee operation on my meniscus. It was a 6-thirty day period procedure, but it’s excellent now.

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What have you uncovered about on your own because your last triumphant Olympics?

At the 2018 Winter season Olympics, I was pretty younger and I believe it pressured me to mature a lot quicker than your regular kid—which I was quite grateful for. I received to satisfy a whole lot of great individuals, and I was just place in this realm the place I wanted to experienced quite swiftly.

Ahead of the Olympics, I didn’t seriously treatment considerably about profitable due to the fact it was just this sort of a rush heading to all these contests and competing with all of these men and women. But as I’ve gotten more mature I have acquired that I genuinely do take pleasure in getting on the podium. If I’m likely to compete, I want to give it my all. A further issue I have figured out in excess of the decades is just far more about myself and how my system is effective. In advance of the past Olympics, it was all just exciting and game titles. And it even now completely is, but there’s also a new perception of professionalism for me now.

A change in your state of mind?

Incredibly a lot so—just trying to achieve one thing distinctive. I’m a normal athlete, and I actually like becoming fluid, in the zone, and getting current. It is what makes me tick and I under no circumstances want to get rid of that.

Do you see your self heading for 4 Olympics?

I’m a fairly phase-by-action man. I check out in no way to get that much in advance of myself. After these Olympics, perhaps I’ll take a minor crack. I’m a huge fan of filming snowboarding and building movies, so probably I’ll choose a 12 months to do that. But I completely plan on coming back to competing mainly because I definitely get pleasure from it. I feel a whole lot of snowboarders do not delight in it as significantly. But for me, I like to place jointly these operates. It’s like nothing else.

How Slopestyle Gold Medalist Red Gerard Keeps His Cool

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Does competing in the Olympics feel diverse? Do you really feel a patriotic pull?

The real snowboarding portion of the Olympics is no diverse than any other contest I do, but there’s a entire other element here certainly. A good deal far more media attention. A large amount much more eyes on you. And, of study course, I’m representing my state and I have my loved ones there seeing. It is larger in quite a few strategies, but when I’m standing at the leading I just attempt to believe, “I’ve been executing this considering that I was two a long time old.” A large amount of individuals ask me how I bought to this amount. Action by step. I’ve just been undertaking it for so long.

Some speed round concerns for you: Favourite food items?

I’m all about the sushi.

Beloved film?

The previous Bond motion picture.

Do you have a favored band?

I have often been a Rolling Stones person.

Beloved spot to snowboard with buddies?

Powder resorts are the best. Woodward Park Town just opened and it’s truly neat.

Finest snowboarding influence or mentor?

My brothers. Danny Davis has usually been up there too—the way he treats people today with kindness and carries himself with these integrity. I consider he’s just a fantastic illustration of how snowboarders really should be.