Silverthorne’s Red Gerard focused on recovery, having fun, heading into 2023 Winter Dew Tour this weekend
Two-time Olympian hopes to recharge after busy Olympic year last season
After a long and stressful 2021-22 season, Silverthorne’s Red Gerard has been enjoying a more laid back snowboard slopestyle and big air competition season this winter.
“I have been having fun,” Gerard said. “My whole goal this season was to actually kind of take a step back a little bit — try to get my energy levels back feeling right. That last season was a lot — with COVID and going over to China. It was action packed, and it just felt like a ton.”
Gerard went on to elaborate that for most Olympic-level athletes, every Olympic year tends to cause an immense level of pressure on them and those close to them.
Following a gold-medal performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Gerard didn’t necessarily feel pressure to qualify for the U.S. team. Rather, he felt pressure surrounding the environment that came with the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“The Olympics, in general, always bring a great pressure to it,” Gerard said. “I always enjoyed that pressure. I thought it was pretty fun, but with COVID and going over to China — that just brought a stress. It wasn’t nice at all. Having to test everyday was one thing, but just worrying about getting a positive and if you are going to be able to compete in these contests was a constant stress for me. I was constantly worried about it.”
Despite being stressed, Gerard feels like that season included some the best riding of his career so far. Gerard put down the runs he wanted in both the snowboard slopestyle and big air Olympic finals, but it was not enough for him to finish on the podium.
Gerard placed fourth in slopestyle and fifth in big air.
“It took me a good five days or something to get over (not medaling), but at the end of it, I kind of looked back and realized that I came there and did the run I wanted to do,” Gerard said of the 2022 Olympics. “I wasn’t going to do anything different. It’s not like I left something on the table. Ultimately that made me feel better. I wouldn’t have changed anything.”
As a result of the hectic and stressful Olympic year, Gerard has only competed in two snowboarding competitions so far this competition season.
Gerard began his season with a 13th-place finish at the Visa Big Air competition at Copper Mountain Resort back in December and then traveled to Laax, Switzerland for the Laax Open in the middle of January.
Gerard notched a 14th-place finish in the men’s snowboard slopestyle competition in Laax and since then has been focusing on rest and recovery.
One of Gerard’s biggest outlets outside of competing in snowboarding competitions is working on snowboard films. Gerard has been featured in a host of films throughout the last few years, including Ben Ferguson’s “Fleeting Time” and Burton’s “One World”.
“At the end of the year when you get to look back at all your best footage cut down to a minute or two minutes — that is super fun,” Gerard said. “Then you put a song to it that you like. That stuff just stays there forever. You can always find that video. A lot of those podiums are just memories that you hold onto. Those video parts are something that you can always look back on — remember all the good times that you have had.”
Gerard has plans to work with his brother — Malachi Gerard — in producing an upcoming snowboard film of their own at the conclusion of the competition season, but he will first compete at the 2023 Winter Dew Tour at Copper Mountain Resort from Saturday, Feb. 25, to Sunday, Feb. 26.
As a Mountain Dew-sponsored athlete, the Dew Tour has always been an event Gerard has looked forward to throughout the competition season. Not only does the event allow Gerard to compete at a high level, but it also has a laid-back atmosphere that helps push the progression of the sport.
This year’s Dew Tour is especially unique as the event will feature a new super streetstyle ski and snowboard competition that will take place steps away from Copper’s Center Village.
The event will replace the ski and snowboard slopestyle competition that took place high up on the frontside of Copper’s slopes. The event will allow more people to see the event without having to purchase a lift ticket — or ride a lift up — and will be set under the lights at night.
“This year they are doing the super streetstyle which I am looking forward to,” Gerard said. “Before, (slopestyle) was up in the middle of the mountain and you couldn’t really have fans up there. Now it is at the base, and they are holding it at night. I am really excited to try to put on a show for the fans that are coming out.”
Gerard says he would love to podium at the Winter Dew Tour’s super streetstyle competition, but he is mainly focused on having fun while riding alongside some friends.
Ultimately, Gerard hopes a laid-back competition season will result in him being well rested for the build up ahead of the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milano Cortina, Italy.
“Over the last couple years, I found out that I really like to be on the podium,” Gerard said. “I really enjoy the competitiveness and putting together runs. I am definitely going to try for another Olympics. I am super excited for all that.”
Gerard will headline the men’s snowboard super streetstyle competition on Sunday night of the Winter Dew Tour, but several other Summit-based riders are also set to compete at the 2023 Winter Dew Tour.
In the women’s snowboard super streetstyle competition on Saturday night, Summit’s Kaitlyn Adams and Copper Athlete Patti Zhou will make up the 12-women field.
Although Adams, 17, and Zhou, 11, are some of the youngest competitors in the field, the duo will look to put their talent on display and shake up the competition against their older competitors.
Zhou will also compete in the women’s snowboard superpipe final on Saturday afternoon.
The men’s snowboard superpipe final will take place on Sunday afternoon and will feature three Summit County locals. Steamboat Springs-product and Summit local Taylor Gold will look to defend his second-place finish at the 2021 Winter Dew Tour while Summit resident Siddhartha Ullah, 16, will make his Dew Tour debut.
Frisco’s Ryan Wachendorfer is also slated to join Gold and Ullah in the men’s superpipe final.
Aspen’s Alex Ferreira and Crested Butte’s Aaron Blunck will make up the men’s freeski superpipe final on Saturday afternoon.
For those who can not attend the 2023 Winter Dew Tour in person, it will be livestreamed in its entirety on DewTour.com, Facebook Live and YouTube. The event will also be livestreamed via Outside Watch and FuelTV.
Friday, Feb. 24:
- Dew Tour Experience at Eagles Landing, noon to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25:
- Dew Tour Experience at Eagles Landing, 11 a.m. to 4p.m.
- Men’s ski superpipe final, 11:15 a.m.
- Women’s snowboard superpipe final, 12:45 p.m.
- “Ark” snowboard film screening at Center Village Base, 4 p.m.
- Women’s snowboard super streetstyle qualifier and final, 5 p.m.
- Men’s ski super streetstyle qualifier and final, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26:
Dew Tour Experience at Eagles Landing, noon to 4 p.m.
Men’s snowboard superpipe final, noon
Superpipe high air and best trick jam presented by U.S. Air Force, 1:30 p.m.
“Ark” snowboard film screening at Center Village, 4 p.m.
Women’s ski super streetstyle qualifier and final, 5 p.m.
Men’s snowboard super streetstyle qualifier and final, 7:15 p.m.
*Event schedule is subject to change
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