High-flying snowboard crew poised to deliver Canada's 1st medal of Games

The Opening Ceremonies of the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer Norway

The Opening Ceremonies of the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer Norway

With his win, 17-year-old Gerard - who is 17 years, 227 days, to be exact - became the youngest snowboard gold medalist and the third-youngest Winter Olympics gold medalist in history.

"My emotions are insane", he said after his win. "I never thought I'd end up learning tricks in the backyard".

The Regina snowboarder was hospitalized last March after a backcountry crash near Whistler, unsure that his career would continue because his injuries were so severe.

That left the bronze to McMorris, who admits to being lucky to be alive following a crash in Whistler, Canada, previous year which left him with 17 broken bones, a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen. Gerard will ride in the finals on Sunday.

Parrot wound up taking silver in the vent, while Mark McMorris, another Canadian, took bronze, Canada's first two medals of the event.

Tom Weir covered eight Winter Olympics as a columnist for USA Today.

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'I would have to guess that people are pretty surprised. High winds had forced him to improvise and he came through with a move he hadn't tried in a month. Kleveland will start in 11th, between Parrot and McMorris. But McMorris took a spill after Gerard finished. Unfortunately, he followed that with a 69.86, barely missing on his final jump of the day, and did not build on his first solid run. "He was just confused, happy, overwhelmed, I guess". He fell short of the top-six by less than three points, finishing ninth in the best-of-two qualifying competition. Canadian Max Parrot, who had fallen on each of his first two runs, then nailed his final run for the silver medal.

According to The Denver Post, Gerard showed up in South Korea like "an accidental tourist", insisting that "I honestly don't know what the Olympics is". "You can't fall a third straight time, '" he said. I had a lot of fun and all I really want to do is just land runs'.

The strong showing by Canadian snowboarders in the qualifying heats means four of the 12 riders going into the medal round are from Canada.

Krista Parmakoski of Finland won the bronze.

Early past year Hedberg broke his neck before having surgery but it could not be determined at that stage if it was a recurrence of that injury.

On Sunday morning, McMorris, who almost died in a backcountry crash 11 months ago, could not improve his score in his last run.

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