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U.S. wins first gold medal of 2014 Sochi Olympics

Story highlights

  • US. snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg wins first gold at Sochi in slopestyle event
  • Sven Kramer of Netherlands successfully defends 5,000-meter speed skating title
  • Ole Einar Bjoerndalen equals all-time Winter Games medal haul with gold in men's 10km biathlon
  • Norwegian equals compatriot Bjorn Dahlie's total of 12 medals

The United States clinched the first gold medal of Sochi's Winter Olympics Saturday, but the Dutch dominated on ice and a joint record was claimed by Norway.

An upset opened the day's events in Russia when Team U.S.A's Sage Kotsenburg, 20, scooped the first gold in men's snowboard slopestyle. Kotsenburg tweeted his surprise at the win.

Kotsenburg's winning score of 93.5 edged out silver medal winner Staale Sandbech, 20, while Canadian Mark McMorris, also 20, took bronze.

American Shaun White, the biggest name in snowboarding, withdrew from the competition before it began to focus on the men's halfpipe next week. The double Olympic champion, who had been nursing a wrist injury, withdrew Wednesday just a day after admitting the course presented an "intimidating" challenge.

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Saturday's second gold was taken by Norway's Marit Bjoergen in the women's skiathlon. The 15km course is split between a classic style for the first 7.5 km, then a final leg in freestyle.