Redmond "Red" Gerard wowed the world when he won the United States its first gold medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics, but the story behind the victory makes it even more amazing.
According to a report by Thrillist, Gerard overslept on the morning of his event. His roommate, fellow Olympic snowboarder Kyle Mack, reportedly had to wake Gerard up after he fell asleep watching Netflix the night before. As he rushed to get to his event on time, Gerard couldn't find his jacket, and ended up borrowing Mack's for the competition.
The 17-year-old champion's misadventures didn't end there. He made it to the slopes on time, and quickly fell into last place. It was only on his third run that Gerard earned the 87.16 high score which put him at the top of the podium.
In that moment of ecstasy when he realized he'd won the gold, Gerard let out a cry of "holy f—!" which the producers at NBC were not prepared to censor. The curse reverberated awkwardly on air, perhaps dampening the thrill for people watching at home with their children.
Afterward, the broadcast cut back to Mike Tirico, hosting the coverage from the studio.
"Apologies for the language," he said with a knowing smile. "You understand the enthusiasm involved here."
3rd & final — Mike Tirico apologizing for the kid’s language 🥇 pic.twitter.com/vSy8Z70kIi— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) February 11, 2018
The hectic day, along with Gerard's generally chill demeanor, have led journalists to dub him the patron saint of teenagers. In a 2017 interview with PEOPLE, Gerard said the Olympics weren't even on his mind until shortly before he qualified.
“No, honestly. I’m always thinking day-by-day, I’ve never been the guy that thinks into the future,” he said.0comments
“And I think all of a sudden it’s just like I got my first sponsor, Burton, and then I don’t know, it’s just kind of into it at that point,” he continued. “It was like, ‘Alright, well I’m having fun doing it,’ and I’m like, ‘I get to do online school now and not go to actual school.’ And it’s like I’m sticking with it and I ain’t got nothing else going.”
Gerard is the youngest American to win any medal at the Winter Olympics since 1928.