With the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea well under way, we’ve seen many astonishing performances. For fans, it has been a highly entertaining games thus far and we still have nearly a month of action to go. The Olympics is a special time for mostly every one. From skiing, snowboarding, curling, figure skating, and the luge, we have gotten the privilege to witness some of the greatest athletes from around the world compete towards one goal. What is better than seeing dreams come true?
Leading up to either the summer or winter games, the world is almost always introduced to a handful of rising young stars. This time around we were given the opportunity to watch the incredible 17-year-old snowboarder, Red Gerard. Born in Ohio, Gerard felt that he had a talent for something not necessarily offered in that area. Gerard now resides in Colorado and competed in the Slopestyle and Big air competition for team USA. Earlier this week, Gerard took home the gold medal while competing in the Slopestyle. His gold medal would be the first that the Americans would receive in PyeongChang, as it was early in the competition.
When people say that the Olympics is getting younger, that is probably true. Another 17 year old from California named, Chloe Kim, has also stolen the show all week. She is easily the most well known Olympian this week, but has been a rising snowboarder for quite some time. When the 2014 Sochi games came around, Kim wanted to compete but was deemed too young as she was only 13. Kim was set to compete in the women’s snowboard half-pipe and when her chance came, she took it.
On her first run, Kim received a high 93.00, which pushed her into gold medal positioning from the start. The other snowboarders were unable to reach her score during their respective runs. Following a throw-away second run, Chloe Kim already had the gold medal going into her third. Since the half-pipe is essentially scored from style points, Kim went out and delivered a mic drop performance on her final run. After scoring a 98.25, Kim would be seen later on the podium receiving her first gold medal.
Quite possibly one the most well-known athletes in the world, Shaun White, made his return to the games for the fourth time. Following a heart breaking end at Sochi that led to no medals, White was back for revenge. He competes in the men’s snowboard half-pipe and gave viewers an absolutely stunning performance in the qualifying rounds just a few nights ago. White finished with a high score of 98.00 and put himself into position to go last in the final. Going into the final, the competition was visibly tough.
On White’s first run, he notched a score of 94.25. Commentators and fans alike assumed that this had solidified him for the gold, but someone stepped up. 19 year old Japanese born, Ayumu Hirano, posted a strong 95.25 on his second run, which shot him into the lead. An Australian born snowboarder, Scotty James, also trailed just behind White after receiving a score of 92.00 on his first run. With pure concentration and the love of the United States at his back, Shaun White went into his third and final run sitting in silver medal positioning. After a near-perfect run, White went on to win his third gold medal with a score of 97.75. Overcome with emotions, he made his way through the crowd in PyeongChang hugging people draped in the American flag. It was dubbed, “the return of the king.”