IOC President awards Scandinavian skiers with first medals of Sochi 2014
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach presented the first medals of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games today at the Medals Plaza inside the Olympic Park.
Marit Bjørgen of Norway added to her growing Olympic CV after putting in a storming performance at the Laura Cross-Country Ski Centre to finish first ahead of Charlotte Kalla of Sweden. Norway’s Heidi Weng took the bronze to complete an all-Scandinavian podium finish.
It was the fourth gold medal and eighth medal overall for Bjørgen, who also won the women’s skiathlon event four years earlier at Vancouver 2010.
President Bach presented the Olympians with their medals during an evening ceremony in front of a boisterous crowd. FIS President Gian-Franco Kasper presented the athletes with bouquets of flowers.
The skiathlon is a combination of 7.5 km classic style skiing immediately followed by 7.5 km freestyle skiing, which requires competitors to display a full repertoire of technique, speed and stamina.
Later at the ceremony, the first medals in men’s snowboard slopestyle – one of 12 events making its debut on the Olympic Programme in Sochi – were presented to Sage Kotsenburg of the United States (gold), Norway's Staale Sandbech (silver) and Mark McMorris of Canada (bronze)
The 20-year old Kotsenburg put in an unassailable first run in the final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, scoring 93.50.