In the Olympic debut of the Slopestyle event, American snowboarders Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson flew sky-high with back-to-back gold medals in the men and women’s finals this weekend – making it a golden sweep on the slopes for Team USA.
Sage Kotsenburg crushed the competition on Saturday with an outrageous trick in the final heat and ended up getting the first ever Snowboard Slopestyle gold medal; which was also the first gold medal of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The Idaho native pulled off the first ever “1620 Japan Air Mute Grab,” that involves spinning four-and-a-half times while grabbing your snowboard and arching your back – and yes, this all takes place while in the air.
According to Slate.com, after winning the gold medal, the 20-year-old snowboarder said that he never tried that trick before and decided to do it three minutes before launching himself into the air. Kotsenburg later named that trick the “Holy Crail.”
A gutsy move by Kotsenburg, but he is no stranger to trying new tricks. Back in 2011, Kotsenburg threw down the world’s first “Cab 1440 Double Cork,” at the Billabong Air & Style competition event. The daredevil snowboarder made his debut when he was 12-years-old at the U.S. Open, and after having an Olympic breakout performance, Kotsenburg is already ascending as the next U.S. snowboarding superstar of the future.
In the Women’s Slopestyle final, it was 23-year-old U.S. snowboarder Jamie Anderson dominating the competition and flying towards the top of the podium on Sunday. Anderson has consistently been a dominant force in the event from competing in the Winter X-Games and grabbing gold four times. On Sunday, the American snowboarder won her first Olympic Slopestyle gold medal.
“I can’t even really process what happened today, it was such an amazing day,” Anderson said in a news conference after winning the gold medal. “…Pressure was definitely on, I was one of the last riders to drop, and it just felt so good to be able to do something that I knew I could do.”
The snowboarding superstar from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., was on the Olympic radar to win gold before the Winter Games began in Sochi. Anderson lived up to the hype that surrounded her, and finished the first weekend of the Olympics by making sure it was a U.S. sweep on the slopes.
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