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    Red Gerard talks a blue streak after win

    Red Gerard, of the United States, smiles after winning gold in the men's slopestyle final at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
    Lee Jin-man/Associated Press
    Red Gerard came from 11th place to win the slopestyle gold medal.

    If a 17-year-old snowboarder doesn’t call for a seven-second delay, then nobody does.

    American Red Gerard was naturally thrilled when he won gold in the slopestyle snowboarding event, using a dazzling routine to go from last place out of 11 in the finals to the top of the podium. As it turned out, NBC’s cameras captured his honest reaction to the moment, which was rather colorful.

    “What the [expletive],” Gerard could be heard saying when he first saw his final score of 87.17 points, which made him the first American to win gold at PyeongChang. Then, drawing out each syllable, “Holy [expletive].”


    NBC, which was airing the snowboarding on delay, wasn’t able to edit the audio before it aired. “Apologies for the language. You understand the enthusiasm involved here,” said host Mike Tirico when the broadcast cut back to the studio.

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    The young Colorado native must now be every teenager’s favorite teenager after he not only dropped an F-bomb on TV but overslept the morning of the finals after watching too much Netflix the night before. No word from his mother, but a gold medal should save him from getting grounded.

    Chill in the air

    It’s cold at the Winter Olympics.

    That goes in the non-breaking news category, but temperatures in PyeongChang have the Americans wearing battery-powered parkas, skiers such as Ted Ligety covering their faces in athletic tape, and other athletes competing with strange devices that look like whistles in their mouths to warm the air they take into their lungs.

    February’s average temperature in PyeongChang is 23 degrees Fahrenheit, according to AccuWeather. Is that really so cold in the eyes of a winter sport athlete? No, but it’s a little more complicated than that.


    The wind has been fierce, and a bigger problem overall than the temperature. Bokwang Phoenix Park, the site of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events, has been hit by high winds, making conditions dangerous. Some events were postponed, and several snowboarders complained that more should have been.

    Some countries, including Italy, instructed their athletes to skip parts of the Opening Ceremony, held in a temporary, outdoor stadium. Still, shirtless Tongan flag-bearer/Internet sensation Pita Taufatofua (who qualified in cross-country skiing after competing in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio) seemed perfectly happy walking into the stadium with just a slathering of coconut oil protecting his torso from the elements.

    In the end, it’s the Winter Olympics. Of course it’s cold. Just hope everybody brought their mittens.

    Strike up the band

    Figure skaters are allowed to compete to music with lyrics at this year’s Games, after being limited to instrumental music in the past.

    Athletes are using the loosened restrictions to showcase more personality. And, apparently, more Coldplay.


    US skater Adam Rippon skated to Coldplay’s “O” on Sunday, and teammates Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani performed their ice dancing routine to the band’s “Paradise” and “Fix You.”

    Some social media users worried the heavy dose coming from American skaters would lead to false impressions of the arena rock band’s popularity.

    “Worried about how much the international community thinks Americans like Coldplay after tonight’s skating programs,” one wrote on Twitter.

    Nora Princiotti can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @NoraPrinciotti.