Delightfully Low-Key Snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg Wins First United States Gold In Sochi

"Whoa...I made finals at the Olympics!!!", he'd tweeted just hours before taking first place.

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Until this morning, the biggest story from Team USA snowboarding in Sochi was about an American who WASN'T competing: Shaun White dropped out the slopestyle event just before the Olympics started. And as White stepped aside, Sage Kotsenburg stepped up: the 20-year-old from Park City, Utah won the United States' first gold medal at Sochi in an upset, finishing ahead of favorites Mark McMorris and Maxence Parrott of Canada.

Yeah, that's…that's not bad, Sage Kotsenburg.

BuzzFeed Sports@BuzzFeedSports

Yeah, that's…that's not bad, Sage Kotsenburg.

04:04 AM - 8 Feb 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Observers were surprised when McMorris only received 88 points for his second run — 5 points short of passing Kotsenburg — despite landing several difficult moves.

Let slopestyle controversy begin. McMorris lands 2 clean triples, 5 points lower than Kotsenburg, with one double, lotsa style.

John Branch@JohnBranchNYT

Let slopestyle controversy begin. McMorris lands 2 clean triples, 5 points lower than Kotsenburg, with one double, lotsa style.

04:26 AM - 8 Feb 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Kotsenburg was likely shocked himself, having apparently not even expected to advance past the semifinals in the first place:

Whoa how random is this I made finals at the Olympics!!!

sage kotsenburg@sagekotsenburg

Whoa how random is this I made finals at the Olympics!!!

02:28 AM - 8 Feb 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Here's Kotsenburg — who incidentally has an older brother named "Blaze" — mere seconds before finding out whether he would be the first-ever gold medalist in slopestyle, by the way. Snowboarders: very chill.