American Sage Kotsenburg captured the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics, winning the men’s slopestyle event three days after his teammate White — the most celebrated snowboarder in history — dropped out of the event.
Kotsenburg, 20, had a score of 93.50 points on the first of two runs today and nobody could match that mark. Staale Sandbech of Norway won silver with a score of 91.75 on his second run and Canada’s Mark McMorris took bronze with 88.75 on his second attempt at the hill.
“I have no idea what’s actually going on,” Kotsenburg told reporters. “This is the craziest thing that ever happened.”
The first women’s gold medal of the Games went to Norway’s Marit Bjoergen, 33, in the skiathlon, a cross-country skiing event that was swept by Scandinavians. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden won silver and Heidi Weng of Norway took the bronze medal in the race, which features 7.5 kilometers of classic cross-country skiing and another 7.5 kilometers of freestyle.