Kotsenburg claims first gold medal with superb show

 The Winter Olympics sprang into action on Saturday with the first full day of sporting contest.

The United States claimed the first gold in the slopestyle event held amidst the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, some 40 km no
rtheast of the Black Sea resort town of Sochi where the main Olympic park is located.
On a clear, crisp day, US snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg leapt an
d twisted high in the air, riding an almost flawless first run to win the slopestyle crown.
Rock music blared and fans danced as the event, which bears similarities to skateboarding, made its debut in an initiative to attract a younger demographic to Winter Olympic sport.

“I have no idea what’s actually going on. This is the craziest thing that ever happened,” Kotsenburg said.

Some 37,000 security personnel are on high alert in Sochi over threats by Islamist militant groups based in nearby Chechnya and other north Caucasus regions to attack the Feb 7-23 Games, the most expensive ever at a cost of $50 billion.

Security analysts believe an attack is more likely elsewhere in Russia to humiliate Putin, who launched a war to crush a Chechen separatist rebellion in 1999.

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