Sage Kotsenburg
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Sage Kotsenburg leans toward 2018 Olympics, but undecided

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Sage Kotsenburg, the first Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion, said he is leaning toward trying to defend his title at the 2018 Winter Games, but it might be too early to discuss, according to Snowboarder Magazine.

“If you asked me every week since February, 2014, I’d probably go back and forth, and maybe it’s still a little early to talk about, but in some aspects I would love to go back, and in others, I kinda don’t want that to be a part of my life,” Kotsenburg said, according to the magazine. “But, I’ve been thinking recently that going back weighs a little heavier in favor than not going back. Not that there are a ton of negatives to going there. I mean, you’re going to the Olympics. It’s a pretty awesome experience, but it is kinda crazy in terms of how you get there. Right now though, I would be stoked to go back.”

Kotsenburg, 22, struggled at the Winter X Games since his Sochi breakout. He has finished fifth and 10th in slopestyle and seventh in big air, similar to his X Games results before his surprise Olympic title.

Kotsenburg is coming off suffering a concussion at Fenway Park in a big air event in February.

Big air makes its Olympic debut in 2018. Kotsenburg has said he prefers slopestyle to big air and repeated that in the Snowboarder Magazine interview.

“I would definitely rather do slopestyle,” he said. “I wanna hit some more park jumps in the next year-and-a-half, and if I’m feeling good, I’ll try to go back [to the Olympics] for slopestyle. I definitely have to learn some new tricks for big air, but it would be sick to go back for both. I’m up in the air, but it would be cool to go back for both.”

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Max Parrot, Julia Marino win Big Air at Fenway Park snowboarding

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Canadian Olympic snowboarder Max Parrot and American Julia Marino swept the first Big Air at Fenway Park events on Thursday night.

Parrot, who finished fifth in the Sochi Olympic slopestyle competition, had the highest-scoring run of all competitors in gusty conditions at the home of the Boston Red Sox.

He tallied a 96.25 in his second of three runs. The combined score of his first two runs — 183.5 — held up so that his last run was a victory lap.

Parrot gained attention in Sochi for being one of two Canadian snowboarders to call out Shaun White for pulling out before the slopestyle competition.

White didn’t compete Thursday. Olympic slopestyle champions Sage Kotsenburg (training crash) and Jamie Anderson (eliminated in qualifying) did compete, but not in the finals.

Big air, which debuts at the Olympics at Pyeongchang 2018, is most like slopestyle of the current Olympic snowboard disciplines. The key difference is that big air runs include one jump, while slopestyle is a course of several jumps and rails.

Earlier, American Julia Marino was the surprise women’s winner at Fenway, tallying a two-run total of 169.25. Marino, 18, was a forerunner who got into the field when U.S. Olympian Ty Walker withdrew.

Riders competed Thursday with wind gusts up to 25 miles per hour, NBC Sports’ Tina Dixon said. Their bibs flapped uncontrollably at the top of the 140-foot-high jump, nearly four times the height of the adjacent Green Monster.

“The wind definitely created a nervous factor for me, and I’m sure all the other riders, too,” Marino, a Connecticut native, said on NBCSN. “It was crazy windy up there. But the fact is the jump itself wasn’t as winded down below. … I’ve been to Boston so many times, and I’ve walked past this ballpark a ton. To be snowboarding here, it’s insane.”

Big Air at Fenway concludes Friday with ski big air, live on NBC Sports Live Extra at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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Sage Kotsenburg suffers concussion in Fenway Big Air crash

Sage Kotsenburg
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Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion Sage Kotsenburg crashed in training and suffered a concussion before the finals of the Big Air at Fenway Park in Boston on Thursday evening.

“Nothing too major at all,” Kotsenburg said on TODAY on Friday. “I feel great this morning.”

Kotsenburg, 22, was to be the headliner of the finals after fellow Olympic slopestyle champion Jamie Anderson was eliminated in earlier qualifying.

Big Air at Fenway was to be Kotsenburg’s final competition of the season, according to Sports Illustrated. He finished 10th in snowboard slopestyle at the Winter X Games two weeks ago.

Kotsenburg has said he would like to compete in slopestyle and big air at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, where big air will make its Winter Games debut.

NBC Sports Live Extra will have live coverage of the final day of Big Air at Fenway on Friday for the ski big air finals at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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