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Near-perfect run secures Olympic spot for Red Gerard in slopestyle, Big Air

In this Dec. 29, 2017, photo, a man walks by the official emblem of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, in downtown Seoul, South Korea. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Monday the United States should be aware that his country's nuclear forces are now a reality, not a threat. But he also struck a conciliatory tone in his New Year's address, wishing success for the Winter Olympics set to begin in the South in February and suggesting the North may send a delegation to participate. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

SNOWMASS, Colo. (AP) - Red Gerard won a U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle event to secure his spot at the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The 17-year-old American posted his second slopestyle victory in an Olympic qualifying event with a near-perfect score Friday in snowy conditions.

He will compete in both slopestyle and Big Air next month in the Olympics.

Snow and poor visibility made conditions difficult and forced contest organizers to eliminate the bottom of the three jumps on the course. It didn't bother Gerard, whose score of 87.28 on his second run was .72 short of a perfect score.

With two first-place finishes in qualifiers, he's atop the list of riders trying to secure one of at least three spots on the U.S. slopestyle team.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

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