Kotsenburg on gold surprise: ‘That’s snowboarding, you know?’

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Many of moved on to the next exciting Olympic sport, but there were plenty still left smiling by Sage Kotsenburg’s upset win in the snowboard slopestyle. In a way, it gives a sense of the tight-knit culture around the sport, which is growing in scale thanks to high-profile events like these.

NBC’s Joe Posnanski’s piece gets to the roots of Kotsenburg’s win, and illustrates that his creative and free-spirited attitude explains why he could pull off such an unlikely victory in the first place.

“That’s snowboarding, you know?” he says. “You want to do stuff that’s never been done. You want to follow your own path.”

This has long been Kotsenburg’s way — which might be why he has so rarely won events. He’s the impulsive artist out there, following whatever rhythm happens to be moving him in the moment. Still, you could argue that this was different, this was taking it a little too far. Here he was trying something brand new in the final of the Olympic Games. This is somewhat like a Major League closer, in the ninth inning of the World Series, deciding: “Hey, you know, I’ve never really thrown a knuckleball before. Seems like a good time.”

For more on Posnanski’s look behind the scenes, click here.