Searching for Gold: Gerard Gives Team USA Its 1st Medal

Seventeen-year-old wins gold in men's slopestyle

Seventeen-year-old Red Gerard earned the United States its first medal of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, taking gold in men's slopestyle Sunday at Phoenix Snow Park.

Gerard scored an 87.16 in his third and final run, and then watched as four more competitors tried, but could not top his score.

Team USA was blanked on Saturday, when the first five medal events took place at the Pyeongchang Games.

Six countries had medaled entering Sunday and a few won several. The Netherlands notched four medals, three from one speedskating race alone, as did Norway. Germany's two medals are gold, won in biathlon and ski jumping. Host nation South Korea took gold in short track speedskating, a sport it often dominates.

But the United States has come to expect to win a lot at the Olympics, and with the largest contingent of athletes not just at these Winter Games but any Winter Olympics ever, Team USA will have plenty more chances to do it.

Here's a look at other U.S. opportunities to take home a medal Sunday:

Freestyle Skiing
The U.S. has a strong pedigree in women's moguls, winning a medal in five of the last seven Olympic games. So far in Pyeongchang, Morgan Schild is the fastest American, qualifying in third place ahead of compatriots Jaelin Kauf and Keaton McCargo. There's another qualifying round Sunday that American Tess Johnson is racing in, followed by three finals heats.

Sitting in fourth place between Schild and Kauf in the standings is Canadian Justine Dufour-Lapointe, who happens to be defending an Olympic gold medal. She and her sister, Chloe, the reigning silver medalist who is in Sunday's qualifying race, could be the ones to beat.

Chris Mazdzer is a fraction of a second out of a medal place after the first two runs in singles luge, which wouldn't normally be where you'd expect to see an American win. No American man has ever won a medal in the discipline, and Erin Hamlin's bronze from the Sochi Games is the only medal the U.S. has won on the women's side.

Mazdzer has two more trips down the track at the Olympic Sliding Centre Sunday, which means two more chances to try and improve on fourth place.

"I'm having a lot of fun out here. My family, friends are here, and it feels like I'm at home right now," he said Saturday.

Alpine Skiing
Men's downhill was scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed until Wednesday due to high winds. Skiers from Austria, Italy and Canada won the three training runs, however Californian Bryce Bennett is in the mix after a top-10 finish in each run. He will be second out of the gate in the final.

Steven Nyman would have been a contender for the podium, but he tore an ACL before the start of the Games.

It'll be a big upset if an American wins anything in the skiathlon, biathlon or speedskating medal events Sunday.

Look out for Mikaela Shiffrin in the women's giant slalom event Monday. She's been dominant at times this skiing season.

The figure skating team event concludes Monday after the free dance, and the U.S. is defending a bronze from Sochi. Team USA stands in third place after the qualifying round, getting outstanding performances Sunday from Bradie Tennell in women's and Maia and Alex Shibutani in ice dance.

Jamie Anderson took gold in women's slopestyle snowboarding at Sochi, and could repeat again Monday, but faces competition from Americans and Olympic debutantes Julia Marino and Hailey Langland, plus snowboarders from abroad.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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