For Kotsenburg, standing atop of the medial podium was far from a sure thing. Coming into Saturday’s event Kotsenburg had yet to qualify for the final. Earning one of the remaining four spots among 21 riders in the semifinal, Kotsenburg was surprised with the fact he would even be privileged to ride in the first final during his sport's debut at the Sochi Games.
Kotsenburg had to make tough decision to compete at his very best. He decided not to walk with Team USA at the opening ceremony to ensure he was 100% for Saturday's final.
In the end, the decision was well worth it.
“I just found out a couple minutes ago that this was the first gold medal of the games, too. Bringing it home for the USA is pretty cool on that aspect,” Kotsenburg told NBCOlympics.com shortly after his win.
To find out much more about slopestyle's "golden boy," you can click on the video above for Sochi reporter Tim Kelchner's one-on-one with Kotsenburg.