Olympic odds, ends & trends: Red Gerard, meet Stephen King
In today’s Summit Daily Olympic odds, ends and trends, Stephen King tries to understand Red Gerard’s gold medal run, Ayumu Hirano and Shaun White consider a skateboard sequel to their Olympic snowboard showdown, and the U.S. Olympic team is as inclusive as ever.
From the supernatural to snowboarding
It’s super cool that 70-year-old horror fiction author Stephen King even cares about a gold medal snowboard run put down by a boy 53 years his younger: that of Summit County shredder Red Gerard. That said, King — like many Americans — did need a bit of an explainer to understand just what exactly Gerard executed to win the snowboard slopestyle gold. On Monday morning, the legendary writer tweeted out the following: “USA TODAY sez, ‘Red Gerard nailed a thrilling frontside double cork 1080 on his way to a gold medal.’ I am delighted for him, even though I have no idea what the f*** that is.”
Well, Mr. King, like Red said to a gaggle of reporters in Pyeongchang: “Just a bunch of spins. Yeah, just a bunch of spins.”
Hirano-White olympic skateboarding showdown?
It came down to American veteran Shaun White and Japanese 19-year-old snowboarding phenom Ayumu Hirano at the Pyeongchang Olympic halfpipe final. In recent weeks, the two snowboarders’ rivalry has taken a step up after Hirano won gold at an X Games Aspen snowboarding competition White dropped out of due to the flu. And that came just a week after White stomped a perfect 100 score at the Olympic qualifier at Aspen Snowmass. But despite the rivalry and age difference, Hirano may be following in White’s footsteps when it comes to considering high-level skateboarding.
Hirano and White have made it known they are considering participating in the debut Olympic skateboarding competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games. Skateboarding will certainly not be a departure for either, though, as White has won X Games skateboarding medals while Hirano was a skateboarder before he was a snowboarder. His father actually built a skateboard ramp behind a surf shop he owned for Hirano and his older brother, Eiju, who may also compete in the sports at the 2020 games. And Ayumu actually belonged to the Japanese skateboarding team “e-Yume Kids” — meaning team “great dream kids.”
Summit Stat: 14
The number of openly out LGBTQ — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and/or queer — athletes at this year’s Olympic Games. According to the website OutSports.com, that’s a record number for any Winter Olympics. Two of those athletes are American medalists: male slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, of Crested Butte, and American figure skater Adam Rippon. Kenworthy took home a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and has yet to compete in Pyeongchang while Rippon already has won a bronze medal in Pyeongchang in the team event. The dozen other openly out athletes, according to OutSports.com, include: American speedskater Brittany Bowe, Australian snowboarder Belle Brockhoff, Australian cross-country skier Barbara Jezersek, Austrian ski jumper Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, Belgian bobsledder Sophie Vercruyssen, Belgian figure skater Jorik Hendrickx, Swedish hockey player Emilia Andersson Ramboldt, Swiss snowboarder Simona Meiler, Dutch snowboarder Cheryl Maas, Dutch speedskater Ireen Wüst, Czech snowboarder Sarka Pancochova and Canadian pairs figure skater Eric Radford, who already in Pyeongchang became the first openly gay winter Olympian to win a gold medal.
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