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

By CNN Staff
February 10, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Sage Kotsenburg celebrates after completing his run during the final of the snowboard slopestyle in Sochi. He liked it and so did the judges as the 20-year-old American clinched the first gold of the 2014 Winter Games. Sage Kotsenburg celebrates after completing his run during the final of the snowboard slopestyle in Sochi. He liked it and so did the judges as the 20-year-old American clinched the first gold of the 2014 Winter Games.
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Sochi 2014: Day one roll of honor
Hair-raising performances
Dutch master
Triple dutch
History man
Norway top of the tree
Unbeatable Bjoergen
Smiles all-round
Blowing hot in the cold
Flowers and applause as day one closes
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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

(CNN) -- 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.

Gold medalist: My jump was last minute

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.

Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi
Visions of Sochi
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Photos: Visions of Sochi Photos: Visions of Sochi
Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia, as the Olympic cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games on Friday, February 7. Fireworks explode over Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia, as the Olympic cauldron is lit during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Games on Friday, February 7.
Winter Olympics opening ceremony
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Photos: Winter Olympics opening ceremony Photos: Winter Olympics opening ceremony
U.S. claims its first Olympic gold medal
The dangers of slopestyle snowboarding

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.

BLOG: Day one as it happened

Bjoergen, a star of the 2010 Vancouver games, is expected to be a dominant force in the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Defending Olympic champion Sven Kramer of Netherlands then took gold in 5,000 meter speed skating, smashing the previous record. Compatriots Jan Blokhuijsen and Jorrit Bergsma came second and third.

The day's fourth gold went to Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway, in the biathlon men's 10km sprint. His efforts made him the joint most decorated Winter Olympian of all time, with compatriot Bjorn Dahlie. Dominik Landertinger of Austria took silver while Jaroslav Soukup from the Czech Republic got the bronze.

In the final event of the first day, Canadian sisters Justine Dufour-Lapointe and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe claimed the gold and silver in the women's moguls. Defending champion Hannah Kearney from the U.S. had to settle for the bronze.

The Olympics kicked off with much fanfare at the opening ceremony Friday.

Billed as the most expensive Olympic Games in history, the opening ceremony kicked off with lights, floats and flying performers as the world turned its attention to Russia.

Despite anxiety about terror strikes, controversy over gay rights and ridicule for poor preparations, the nation's officials have maintained that the sites in Sochi are secure.

It will be "the safest place on Earth during the Olympics," said Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the Games.

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