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Winner Kotsenburg of the U.S. celebrates after the men's snowboard slopestyle final competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor
Winner Sage Kotsenburg of the U.S. celebrates after the men's snowboard slopestyle final competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor, Feb. 8, 2014.  Mike Blake / Reuters

Sage Kotsenburg Takes First U.S. Gold

Feb 08, 2014

The first gold medal of the winter 2014 Olympics has been won by snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg for his first-place finish Saturday in men's slopestyle snowboarding.

The long-haired Utahan, 20, was the third rider of 12 in the slopestyle final, and took the gold after an inventive run that involved landing a trick he'd never done before, USA Today reports. "It's pretty sick to see that some weird, creative stuff got rewarded," Kotsenburg said.

The difficult course attracted controversy when Team USA superstar Shaun White pulled out of the event citing safety concerns, leaving the field open for contenders like Kotsenburg, as well as Norway's Staale Sandbech (silver) and Canada's Mark McMorris (bronze).

[USA Today]

More: Highlights From The Opening Ceremony in Sochi

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