U.S. Takes Home First Gold Medal of Sochi Olympics

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The United States took home the first gold medal of Sochi Olympics, thanks to Sage Kotsenburg who made his presence felt and seen and took away the most important reward in slopestyle. Kotsenburg detached himself from the other competitors by offering the judges not only an impeccable technical combination of grabs and spins, but also creativity through his own Holy Crail, a trick he used twice in his victorious run.

Kotsenburg was very amazed when he received the gold medal and helped the United States to take home the first  gold medal of Sochi Olympics.

“It’s pretty sick to see some weird, creative stuff got rewarded,” the winner of snowboard men’s slopestyle said.

Because of American superstar Shaun White’s withdrawal from this competition, Kotsenburg had the opportunity to shine and bring his energy and new trick on the slopes. White decided to focus on men’s half-pipe which is due next week and congratulated the United States’ first winner via Twitter. Kotsenburg’s almost flawless performance gained a score of 93.50 and put Norwegian Staale Sandbech on the second place and Canadian Mark McMorris on the third.

As smooth as this first competition of Sochi Olympics went, Canadian Max Parrot was confused about the judging process and wondered what the experts were expecting to see on the course. Parrot finished fifth with a score of 87.25.

Kotsenburg’s Recipe for Success

The winner of the first gold medal of Sochi Olympics took the reward to the United States with the help of a trick he had never tried before, namely “Back 16 Japan.” The sportsman reportedly called his older brother and U.S. coach Bill Enos and shared his idea. The fact that Kotsenburg wanted to throw a trick never practiced before during his first run showed his determination to win the competition, but in the end the four and a half backwards spins while grabbing the backside of his board brought him the awaited gold medal.

“I ended up landing it, and winning with it,” the American contestant said.

Kotsenburg’s relaxed attitude and determination to “march his own beat” helped him win the gold medal, a title he did not see coming although he did everything in his power to impress the judges. After the run, his surprise could be felt even in his tweet, which emphasized his expectations with regard to his performance during Sochi Olympics.

“Whoa how random is this I made finals at the Olympics!!,” Kotsenburg tweeted.

After the semifinals, Kotsenburg chatted away with reporters and while his parents were too nervous to come to Russia with him and preferred to stay home and watch his performance, he remained calm and focused on his run. He admitted that he wanted to win the gold medal of Sochi Olympics, but that his feelings were no different from the ones of his competitors and he didn’t intend to be sad if he hadn’t won it.

The United States took home the first gold medal of Sochi Olympics thanks to Sage Kotsenburg and although the winner ran out of words after seeing that his performance was rewarded, he uttered that this experience was “cool.”

By Gabriela Motroc

Sources:
USA Today
ESPN
Los Angeles Times
CNN

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