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Sochi 2014 Olympics: Sage Kotsenburg Wins First Gold Medal [PHOTOS]

International Business Times UK

The United States won the first gold medal at the Sochi 2014 Olympics with Sage Kotsenburg claiming the title after fellow American Shaun White withdrew from the event.

Sage Kotsenburg, who advanced to the final after finishing second in the semifinals, impressed the judges with his display that included his own invention called "Holy Crail". He scored 93.50 to win Gold, beating Staale Sandbech, who won silver with a score of 91.75, and Mark McMorris (bronze), who ended with a disappointing score of 88.75.

"Congrats to @sagekotsenburg @stalesandbech @markmcmorris !!!

#TeamUSA," tweeted Shaun White, who was tauted as favorite to win the event.

Shaun White received lots of flak with many dubbing as a coward after he pulled out of the inaugural slopestyle snowboarding event at the Sochi Olympics, saying that he would concentrate on defending his halfpipe title, as the slopestyle course was dangerous.

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Norway's Marit Bjoergen won Gold in women's cross-country skiathlon, moments after Sage Kotsenburg claimed the first gold of the ongoing Winter Olympics.

Sochi 2014 Olympics kicked off on Friday with a glittering opening ceremony held at Fisht Olympic Stadium. Several world leaders attended the ceremony but U.S. President Barack Obama didn't make it. Athletes from over 80 nations are participating in the games.

The Russian authorities have reportedly spent about $2 billion on security following threats of terrorist attack from Islamic militants. Security in and around the game villages were tight, and Kremlin is under scanner in anticipation of a possible protest relating to the Olympics.

The United States' Department of State issued a travel alert on Friday, saying that all its citizens planning to attend the 2014 Olympic Games in Russia should remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times.

However, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach played down security threats in Sochi, saying that several Olympics like in Sydney, Athens and Salt Lake City too faced terror threats.

Winner of men's snowboard slopestyle competition Kotsenburg of U.S. celebrates at flower ceremony for event at 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor
Winner of men's snowboard slopestyle competition Kotsenburg of U.S. celebrates at flower ceremony for event at 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor
Second-placed Norway's Sandbech carries winner Kotsenburg of U.S as they celebrate after men's snowboard slopestyle final at 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor
Second-placed Norway's Sandbech carries winner Kotsenburg of U.S as they celebrate after men's snowboard slopestyle final at 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor
Sage Kotsenburg from the U.S. performs a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle semi-final competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor
Sage Kotsenburg from the U.S. performs a jump during the men's snowboard slopestyle semi-final competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Rosa Khutor

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