Kotsenburg uses a new trick to take 1st gold

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 8, 2014 at 6:02 pm •  Published: February 8, 2014
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Kotsenburg never tried one.

There are, of course, seven or eight tricks in every run — boxes to jump on, rails to ride over and even the option to jump over the giant Russian nesting doll near the top of the course. Splashes and bobbles on any of them can cost precious points.

But rider after rider came off the course and concluded that Kotsenburg's win symbolized a shift in the sport; that judges are looking for more technical moves with so-called style rather than a simple gymnastics meet on the snow.

"I think definitely Mark and Staale did some runs that should've scored higher. Sage had some really creative stuff. But whatever," said Canada's Sebastien Toutant, who finished ninth. "They're all homeys. They deserved it. The sport is getting judged by humans and life goes on."

Sandbech celebrated his clean triple cork at the bottom by swan diving into the snow.

The crowd loved it. The judges only gave it a 91.75.

"It was kind of hard from the start to know what the judges were awarding for," he said.

As recently as a month ago, McMorris was considered a favorite to win the gold, whether White showed up at the contest or not.

But he broke a rib after slamming into a rail during the finals of the Winter X Games two weeks ago. There was some thought he'd wear a Kevlar vest to protect himself, but no.

He thought his run might get a higher mark than the 88.75 he received. Didn't happen.

Then, he was sure he'd been knocked off the podium when Parrot, also from Canada, went last and also landed the triple. Parrot finished fifth.

"If you ride the best you can ride, and you're satisfied with that, the rest is up to the judges," McMorris said. "To be honest, that's the least of my worries. I'm just really, really thankful, from where I was two weeks ago, to be on the podium."

Kotsenburg is, too.

When he was a kid, he went to snowboarding camp in Oregon and Mike Jankowski, the coach there and now the coach of the U.S. team, tried to coax kids away from the big features and over to the halfpipe, where the fundamentals are taught.

Wasn't so easy with this kid. He always wanted to do the jumps.

"For Sage, that's what he's about," Jankowski said. "It's keeping snowboarding fun, whether the judges like his run, whether he gets a high score or a low score."

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