Learn all about Redmond Gerard, the 2018 Olympic athlete who took home a gold medal in slope-style snowboarding. Keep reading to learn more about him, including his overall net worth, his height and even his Instagram feed.
Who is Redmond Gerard?
Redmond Gerard, the seventeen year old snowboarder from Silverthorne, Colorado, had possibly the best response ever to winning an Olympic gold medal as a member of the 2018 United States Olympic Team. “Holy fuck,” said coining his succinct phrase that conveys every emotion at once. He said he was overwhelmed, happy and shocked, all at the same time. Although the victory was unexpected, it had been a long time coming–if you can call seventeen years a long time, to wait.
Nicknamed ‘Red,’ Gerard was born on June 29, 2000 which makes him the youngest snowboarder on the US Olympic Team and the youngest Olympic champion in snowboarding. He was born to parents Jen and Conrad in Cleveland, Ohio, where he lived for the first seven years of his life and he is the sixth of seven siblings. He has five brothers, Brendan, Creighton, Malachi, and Trevor, and two sisters, Tieghan and Asher. Tieghan runs a famous food blog called ‘Half Baked Harvest’ and has nearly 500,000 followers on instagram. All of his siblings also snowboard. His brothers Brendan and Trevor both went to a snowboarding academy for high school and Red credits all his older siblings with getting him into the sport. Brendan said in interviews that he knew Red had something special, even when he was just six years old. Gerard’s mother decided to move the family to Silverthorne, Colorado when he was seven. Though he never formally trained with a coach, Red always had snowboarders to teach him new tricks. He looked up to his oldest brother, Brendan, and other neighborhood riders who were older than him. Brendan’s friend, Colin Walters, ended up taking over as a role model for Red whenever Brendan was busy. Walters was filming a snowboarding series at the time called REDit #2, and taught Gerard how to flip on camera. Gerard has said that hanging out with snowboarders who were better than him was a huge part of making him a better rider. Walters and others were happy to ride with him and Walters and Gerard’s older brothers all say that they saw something special in Red’s fearless riding and unusual style. He began competing on the pro circuit in 2016, after earning a Burton sponsorship because the company liked his YouTube videos.
The Dangers of Snowboarding
One thing Gerard never seemed to fully grasp is that snowboarding is dangerous. He’s never broken a bone, although he admits to earning himself several concussions. When he was younger, the boldness of his riding was one of the things that surprised his brothers and other mentors. The sport has recently seen several top athletes take devastating falls. Mark McMorris, a Canadian snowboarder, broke seventeen bones in a fairly recent backcountry accident but he’s since made a miraculous recovery. He then went on to compete in the 2018 Olympic winter games, there’s no denying that it could have easily been a tragedy. Shaun White also recently took an awful stumble that gave him several facial lacerations that left him with some deep scars. Being the youngest of five brothers gave Gerard more confidence that he wouldn’t be injured on the slopes. He says that his brothers have broken just about every bone at one point or another, and look at them–they’re doing fine now. His mother is not so sure and she has to stand in the back row during competitions because she gets so nervous.
Red Gerard’s Backyard
The snow and mountains in Colorado inspired Gerard and his siblings to build a snow park in their backyard. The park is now a fixture in the neighborhood, and the family urges people to come snowboard there. “Gerard Farm” is also home to several goats, dirt bikes and tractor trailers. Red started an instagram account for the park called ‘Red’s Backyard,’ on which he describes the park as “a wayward home for lost boys and f*cked up adults.” If you fit either of those categories, consider yourself invited. The backyard of the family home is set up in a series of homemade rails. Thanks to all the practice on the backyard rails, Gerard’s style was perfectly suited for the course at the 2018 olympic winter games. The slopestyle course featured three sections of rails, where riders could choose their own paths. During his run, Gerard used off rail paths and jumps that other, more decorated snowboarders did not. This creativity contributed a lot to his win, as the judges were looking closely at individuality in the rail section of the course.
At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games
A relatively small athlete at five-foot-five, Gerard lacks the height and weight required for the fastest runs and biggest jumps, but his prowess on the rails gave him an extra edge over the competition. Not that his jumps weren’t impressive; during his run,but it took a lot for him to get enough height to land a switch backside 1260, a double cork and a triple cork 1440. The jumps were punctuated with small stylish quirks, like spinning into the jumps and using left or right paths down the course instead of the center. When asked to describe his style, Gerard told NBC Sports that he wasn’t sure what style was, but that it was “probably whack or something.” He went on to say that he hoped if he won a medal, it “would have something to do with [his] rails.” Wish granted, Red.
Making the 2018 United States Olympic Team
The process of selecting the 2018 United States Olympic team began back in February of 2017 on the US Grand Prix Tour. Gerard won the slope-style competition there, and then secured his spot on the team with a second place slope-style finish in Snowmass, Colorado in January 2018.
The Day of the Slopestyle Snowboarding Event
Actually getting to the slopes on the day of the competition was harder for Gerard than his gold medal run. The night before, he and roommate Kyle Mack, now a silver medalist in his own right, stayed up watching ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine.’ Gerard slept through his alarm set for six am and Mack had to wake him up. Mack then lent Gerard his Olympic jacket, because Gerard had misplaced his own. On the way to the slopes, Gerard received a Snapchat from his mother of his family shotgunning beers on the sidelines. His whole family, including all of his siblings, his parents and his cousins flew to Pyeongchang to watch him compete. The group, totaling eighteen people, carried giant print outs of a photo of his face while cheering him on. Gerard said he felt the pressure from all of them coming out to watch him compete, saying that he’d “better do something cool.” Needless to say, the trip was worth it. Going into the competition, Gerard was the only American to qualify for the final run. Canadians Mark McMorris, Max Parrot and Sebastien Toutant or Norwegian Marcus Kleveland were expected to either sweep or at least occupy the top spot. Each of them have more height and therefore usually have bigger jumps than Gerard. Parrot ended up in silver medal position, and McMorris took the bronze. Both riders took their finals runs after Gerard, who waited anxiously at the bottom of the mountain for their scores. But neither could beat Gerard’s 87.16 points, Parrot only about a point behind. When asked how he had managed the score, Gerard said, “I don’t know, honestly.” Lucky for him, the judges did. After the win, Gerard was astonished and overwhelmed. First came the “Holy fuck,” and then he dropped to his knees before being hugged and high-fived by his competitors and draped in an American flag. He might have been surprised, but upsets are not unusual in snowboarding. In the slopestyle competition in Sochi, Sage Kotsenburg won the gold medal the same way. Kotsenburg, now 24 and retired, came out of nowhere in 2014 to win the gold medal for the United States in Sochi. He seems to have seen Gerard’s upset coming and the two have been texting back and forth since a few weeks before the Olympic games. They met at this year’s X Games, and Kotsenburg calls Red “one of [his] favorite younger shredders to watch.” Gerard sees Kotsenburg as an inspiration, saying that watching Kotsenburg “really got [his] mind flowing on style stuff and making snowboarding different.” The shock of winning took a while to wear off and in many of his interviews, especially right after the win, it’s still just starting to sink in. Gerard says that he was just happy to land a run and lucky to get on the podium. It took winning a gold medal for the seventeen year old to realize how impactful the Olympic games really are, but he clearly knows now.
The Road to the Olympics
Most people think of the Olympics as the biggest stage and competition for athletes, but Gerard is not one of them, or at least he wasn’t before his big win. He had conflicted feelings about the Olympics and he’s said several times that he did not consider the Olympics a big deal. Having not grown up watching the games, he was more excited about competing in the X games and the Mountain Dew Tour. Gerard told Transworld Snowboarding that the Olympics make him “angry” because of the extreme expectations. He cited Shaun White’s 2014 fourth place finish, which was considered a failure for White because of his previous Olympic golds. How could fourth best in the world possibly be bad? Gerard went into the 2018 Olympic winter games as an underdog, with his expectations not set too high and intent on just having fun being a part of the 2018 United States Olympic team. His love of snowboarding is really what matters to him. He says practices are more fun than competitions because you just get to have fun with your friends. He’s not in it for the glory. Colin Walters said in an interview with Transworld Snowboarding “He’s always snowboarded because all he wants to do is frickin’ shred, and that’s the coolest, purest form of snowboarding there is.”
Teammates and Friendships
Gerard mentions his friends a lot and after riding with his siblings for his whole life, he’s now tight with his teammates too. He resisted joining the US team for a number of years because of his aversion to traditional coaching, but once he joined he didn’t regret it. Chris Corning, 18, and Kyle Mack, 20, are also both from Colorado and are both close friends of Red’s. All three competed together in the big air competition, where Mack won a silver medal, Corning came in fourth and Gerard came in fifth. As soon as Mack’s silver medal position was confirmed, Gerard came running out from the crowd and jumped into his arms to congratulate him. The love runs deep between the two, with Mack quoted by NBC as saying, “We all the wear the same outfits, but you can figure out who Red is out of everybody. That’s what makes him special.” Officially joining the US Olympic Team had another side effect, he could then stop going to school and snowboard full time. He now takes high school classes online while traveling the world to different competitions and is determined to graduate from high school this summer.
Big Air Snowboarding
The Big Air event was brand new to the 2018 Olympic winter games. It consists of just one giant jump instead of the three in slope-style, and no rail section. NBC Sports went so far as to call the event the “short attention span theater” of snowboarding, as most of the runs take less than a minute to complete. The riders with the biggest tricks excel in this event; Mack’s silver medal performance included his signature Bloody-Dracula grab, and Corning attempted–and nearly landed–a quad cork 1800. Gerard was realistic about his chances in the event, openly stating that he doesn’t have the height to throw the biggest tricks, and enjoys slope-style more.
Gerard was busy in between the two competitions. He flew to Los Angeles to be on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ shortly after his gold medal run, and then immediately after to New York to do ‘CBS This Morning’ with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest. From there, it was straight back to Pyeongchang. During his interview with Jimmy Kimmel, he accidentally revealed that he knows how to shotgun a beer, and the next day confirmed Kelly Ripa’s suspicion that snowboarders are cool. Arguably, he had already been doing that for a while. The constant back and forth from Korea to the United States had its ups and downs. Gerard’s agent, Ryan Runke, was thrilled with the response to the gold medal win and was already prepared to get Gerard out into the news cycle. Kimmel and CBS This Morning were just the beginning, followed up by a photo shoot with ‘People Magazine’, another photo session with ‘Sports Illustrated,’ and a final interview with ‘TIME.’ According to NBC Sports, Runke’s phone is ringing off the hook. He allegedly had to sort through about forty sponsorship requests to find ones that fit for Red. The downside of the three day media-fest, was of course the tiring nature of traveling in different time zones. Gerard didn’t seem too thrown off by that though and he assured Kelly Ripa that he was getting plenty of sleep. After all, it is much easier to bounce back from jet lag when you’re seventeen.
Redmond Gerard’s Future in Snowboarding
Going forward, Gerard has been open about the fact that he has no idea what he’s going to do. He has expressed interest in following in Sage Kotsenburg’s footsteps and shifting his focus to filming snowboarding. Gerard has said before that he prefers filming practices to actual competition, and that competing is fun, but that it “gets old.” He has participated in two of Transworld Snowboarding’s films, ‘Insight’ and ‘Arcadia.’ Canadian snowboarder Sebastien Toutant, who won the gold medal in the big air competition, had a different opinion about Gerard’s future. He said to ESPN that Red “actually enjoys snowboarding, and you can see it. He’ll snowboard until he can’t snowboard.” Gerard has also mentioned that firefighting sounds like “a sweet job” and that all that lies in his immediate future is eating burritos. Probably from Chipotle, who offered him 87 free burritos to honor his 87 point gold medal winning score. They offered Chloe Kim, champion of the women’s half-pipe, the same deal, except that they will have to match her score of 98 points. Other than eating, Gerard’s hobbies include playing golf and skateboarding.
Redmond Gerard’s Net Worth
Redmond Gerard’s net worth is currently estimated at $100,000 dollars. He has sponsorship deals with Red Bull and outerwear company Burton, and he recently received a bonus of about $25,000 dollars for winning a gold medal at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The height of his success is only growing, as will his net worth.
For more photos and videos of Red Gerard’s snowboarding, follow him on instagram at instagram.com/redgerard and his backyard at instagram.com/redsbackyard.