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Kotsenburg, Hamlin win awards for top US Olympians

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 2, 2014 at 10:12 pm •  Published: April 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wearing a suit for what he said was the first time, snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg walked off Wednesday with honors for top male athlete at the U.S. Olympic Committee's inaugural Best of U.S. Awards.

The USOC handed out trophies for the country's best performers at the Sochi Olympics and Paralympics, as voted on by fans.

Kotsenburg, of Park City, Utah, won the first gold medal at the Olympics in February, in men's snowboard slopestyle, and so perhaps it was appropriate that he was the first winner Wednesday.

"Whoa. I didn't really prepare a speech. I didn't know this was an awards show until last night," Kotsenburg said on stage at the Warner Theater.

He was decked out in a blue suit that he said he got a couple of days ago, replete with white pocket square and a yellow tie he credited snowboardcross bronze medalist Alex Deibold with tying.

"I had never put a suit on in my life," Kotsenburg said, "so I was definitely weirded out."

Still, he's been getting used to the sorts of obligations and perks that come with being an Olympic champion, such as a series of talk-show appearances.

"It's something I've watched people go through from afar, like Shaun (White) or something, and I'm like, 'That must be crazy.' I remember just being in a car, driving from one to another, and just being like, 'This is wild,'" Kotsenburg said. "It's really fun, but it's really crazy. Definitely tiring, but a lot of fun."

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