The 2014 Winter Olympics are off to a great start. Team USA captured the first Olympic gold medal on Saturday, ailment order awarded to our HAM of the Week, viagra snowboarder Sage Kotesenburg. Competing in the first-ever Snowboard Slopestyle event (the one Shaun White pulled out of to focus on the halfpipe), the 20-year-old pulled off a last-minute trick he’d never tried before to score atop the podium, ahead of the projected gold medalist, Canada’s Mark McMorris (who is also easy on the eyes). McMorris finished with bronze.
So what’s the 411 on Kotsenburg?
The 5’10”, 165 lbs., Park City, Utah native began snowboarding at age five and competed in his first event two years after jumping on a board. He entered the U.S. Snowboard Series at eight and won every event he entered for the next four years, making his U.S. Open slopestyle debut at 12. He turned pro at 16 and won the silver medal at the European X Games that year. In 2011, Kotsenburg won a bronze medal in snowboard big air at the Winter X Games and was named to the U.S. Snowboarding Slopestyle Pro Team.
Kotsenburg won a silver medal in snowboard slopestyle at the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen. He hadn’t won any major event since this past Saturday.
Kostenburg’s gold medal routine on Saturday was relaxed, clean and creative, and his bad-ass and spontaneous attitude is one HAM quality we can’t overlook. The guy was chewing gum during his gold medal run. Besides, how many Olympic athletes can nail an original grab on their board they invented themselves?
Called the “Holy Crail”, the trick features a jump of four and a half rotations, an arched back, and grabbing the front of the board and landing flawlessly. Kotsenburg aced his first run, posting a winning score of 93.5. Nobody in the 12-man field of finalists could top him.
— sage kotsenburg (@sagekotsenburg) February 4, 2014
Despite his shaggy blonde-haired persona of a certain character in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and a vocabulary full of rad, sick snowboarding lingo, Kotsenburg has a truly caring side. He arrived in Sochi alone because he was concerned about the security of his family. Kotsenburg has two older brothers, Blaze and Jeremy, and a younger sister, Kirra. Jeremy is a space and missile operations officer in the U.S. Air Force, and Blaze and Kirra are also pro snowboarders. It was his brother Blaze who encouraged Kotesenburg to make that spur-of-the-moment decision, who was on the phone with him three minutes before his run.
The secret to that epic run? Listening to Metallica and eating “rando healthy stuff”. If you break down the split-screen of Kotsenburg’s sequence, you’ll see that when he went into that big 1620 Backside Japan Grab, he floated in the air, rotating at 648 degrees per second at a hangtime of 2.5 seconds. So basically, it’s just a bunch of flips and turns in the air.
Kotsenburg also films his snowboarding and has made various videos starring himself and fellow Park City snowboarders in a webseries called, “Lick the Cat”. He also filmed his journey to Sochi in a series of videos with TWsnowFilms, ironically called “Sage Kotsenburg’s Holy Crail”.