February 8 - United States slopestyle snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg today won the first Olympic gold medal of Sochi 2014.
After a build-up dogged by concerns over the difficulty of the course, it was good to see the focus remaining on sporting matters as the 20-year old, who grew up in Park City in Utah, produced a stunning first round score of 93.50 to remain in the lead for the rest of the day.
The performance was particularly impressive considering Kotsenburg was one of just four competitors in the 12 man final who had to compete in the semi-finals earlier this morning, with the other eight have qualified directly from Thursday's preliminary round.
The American admitted he won after successfully pulling off a trick he had never even attempted before, and he was clearly overcome with emotion afterwards.
"I'm really excited - it feels awesome", he said.
"I dont know what to call it.
"I have no idea what's actually going on.
"This is the craziest thing that ever happened".
Staale Sandbech of Norway took the silver medal while Canadian Mark McMorris - another to have had to compete in semi-final action - took bronze , despite nursing the effects of a broken rib.
The build-up to today's final had been clouded by concerns over the difficulty of the course with several athletes voicing their concerns to the extent organises reduced the size of several jumps.
In the worst incident Norway's Torstein Horgmo was ruled out of the Games with a broken collar-bone, before otsenburg's US team-mate Shaun White withdrew on the eve of competition to avoid an injury preventing him from challenging for a third consecutive gold medal in his favoured halfpipe discipline.
But, despite the usual blend of crashes, failed tricks, and spectacular moments the final passed without any major incident.
Elsewhere, the second gold medal of the Games was won by Norway's Marit Bjørgen in the women's 15km cross country skiathlon - to add to the three golds she won at Vancouver 2010 - before Sven Kramer expertly defended his 5,000m speed skating title in a Dutch clean sweep of the podium places.
There was another one-two courtesy of Canadian sisters Justine and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe in the freestyle skiing moguls.
They took gold and silver respectably as the US defending champion Hannah Kearney had to settle for bronze.
The final word, however, must go to Norway's Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who equalled the record for most medals won at the Winter Olympics when he took his fifth gold, and twelfth overall, in the 10km sprint.
This gives the 40-year old a grand total of 12 medals and puts him level in the all-time stakes with compatriot Bjoern Daehlie - with opportunities for more over coming days.
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