Canada’s Mark McMorris takes a jump during the men’s snowboard slopestyle semifinal at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Sage Kotsenburg loves snowboarding for all its unexpected surprises.
Winning the first Olympic gold medal in slopestyle, for one.
And winning it with one trick he’d never tried before and another that included a self-invented grab of the board he named the “Holy Crail.”
The 20-year-old American jetted off the first big jump of the slopestyle course Saturday and whirled around for 3 1/2 rotations while flipping twice. All the while, he was grabbing the front of his board with one hand and the nose of the board with the other.
At the bottom, he helicoptered through 4 1/2 rotations, while grabbing his board and flexing it behind his back.
“Never even tried it before,” Kotsenburg said. “Never, ever tried it in my life.”
Kotsenburg landed both jumps cleanly. The fans in the mostly full stands, knowing they had seen something completely different in a completely new Olympic sport, let out a huge gasp after the second one.
On the strength of those tricks — the Cab Double Cork 1260 with a Holy Crail grab and a Back 1620 Japan Air — the kid Login to read more