The first gold medal of the 2014 Winter Games went to Team USA after Sage Kotsenburg scored a 93.50 in the inaugural men’s snowboarding slopestyle event.
[ Related: Shaun White out of slopestyle event at Sochi ]
Kotsenburg of Park City, Utah, soared and twisted through the air, landing cleanly and seemingly effortlessly at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Sochi on Saturday morning.
The 20-year-old was considered a frontrunner after Shaun White suffered a wrist injury while training at the park and pulled out of the slopestyle event Wednesday.
Staale Sandbech, 20 of Norway, earned the silver medal with a score of 91.75, and Mark McMorris, 20 of Canada, took home the bronze after scoring 88.75.
[ Photos: Slopestyle event makes Olympic debut ]
Kotsenburg won the silver medal in the snowboard slopestyle at the 2012 Winter X Games and took home bronze in the Snowboard Big Air event at the 2011 Winter X Games.