Rosa Khutor, Russia – Park City, Utah’s Sage Kotsenburg was presented the first-ever gold medal for slopestyle snowboarding on Saturday at the impressive Sochi Olympic Park underneath the towering, modern Olympic torch.
Kotsenburg’s gold medal was the first for the USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
“It’s just unreal the amount of pride you feel standing on the podium. I’m just lucky enough to be with my two really good friends up there, because we are genuinely good friends and are snowboarding all the time together. Just being up there with them was on another level,” said an elated Kotsenburg. “I was just on cloud nine up there and couldn’t even think of anything else besides being with my friends and staring at that American flag going up the pole.”
Kotsenburg, who earned only a 15th place in this year’s X Games Slopestyle and whose best slopestyle result on the World Cup thus far this season is 14th, finally clinched his spot on Team USA with a win at the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix finale held at Utah’s Park City Mountain Resort earlier this winter. He finished Saturday’s competition ahead of silver medalist Staale Sandbech of Norway and Mark McMorris of Regina, Canada, who earned the bronze for his country’s first medal of the Games.
“The entire Canadian Olympic family congratulates Mark and his support team on winning Canada’s first medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games,” said Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee. “This is a phenomenal accomplishment coming off his recent rib injury. Mark has established himself as one of the world’s premier snowboarders. His journey has taken him from a ski hill in Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan to Olympic bronze in Russia.”
2014 Olympic Winter Games
Sochi/Rosa Khutor, Russia – Feb. 8, 2014
Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle