Peak Performers nominee: Red Gerard, snowboarding
Editor’s note: Readers are invited to nominate their all-time favorite Summit County athletes for Peak Performers: The Mount Rushmore of Summit County athletes. The Summit Daily News is accepting nominations through Saturday. To make a nomination, visit SummitDaily.com/peakperformers. Voting begins Feb. 23.
Nominee: Red Gerard
Though he’s yet to reach 20 years of age, Red Gerard has accomplished an amazing amount on the contest scene, in the backcountry and in the world of snowboarding films.
For casual American sports fans, he’s known as the youngest American male to win a gold medal in an individual event, thanks to his win at the age of 17 at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics. But Gerard’s snowboarding journey has consisted of much more than that welcome-to-fame moment on the slopestyle course.
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It all started when he was a grade-school student here in Summit County, learning skills on the hill and at Woodward Copper. An avid skateboarder, Gerard blossomed into a young snowboarder with a creative skate-like flair flowing through rails and jumps as well as an ability to land some of the biggest tricks in the world on a slopestyle course.
Post Olympics — and after appearances on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live with a gold medal draped around his neck — Gerard hasn’t been content with being known as the kid who won Olympic gold. Last season, he learned more about avalanche and snow safety while globetrotting with his older brother Malachi to film his first snowboarding film, “Joy,” in some of the most loved backcountry locations around the globe.
“Joy” went on to win Movie of the Year at the 2020 Snowboarder Magazine awards, an honor that means a lot to Gerard. During the filming of “Joy,” Gerard also won the Burton U.S. Open slopestyle championship last season. And this year might be his strongest on the contest scene yet, with his first X Games medal, a bronze, in Aspen in January and a Dew Tour slopestyle championship this month on the heels of filming in Japan for his latest project with fellow Burton riders: the upcoming “One World.”
On top of all that, Gerard has made it a point to give back to the Summit County community, namely with Red’s Backyard at Copper Mountain Resort. Working with Woodward Copper and other Woodward locations across the country, Gerard brought to Copper the inspiration of his family’s actual backyard rail garden in the shadow of the Gore Range.
Located in Center Village, Red’s Backyard is a free-to-hike park Gerard and his family hope will further encourage young snowboarders and skiers from Summit County and beyond to progress their skills as well as the sports they love.
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