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).
More: Highlights From The Opening Ceremony in Sochi