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Park City skier takes gold in slopestyle at Sochi Olympics

(L-R) Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy of the United States, gold medalist Joss Christensen of the United States and bronze medalist Nicholas Goepper of the United States pose with their medals in the Olympic Park on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
(L-R) Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy of the United States, gold medalist Joss Christensen of the United States and bronze medalist Nicholas Goepper of the United States pose with their medals in the Olympic Park on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.Photo by Denis Doyle

Park City already can claim one golden skier, Ted Ligety, who won gold at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics in the combined alpine skiing race, as its own. But now the Utah mountain resort town has another one.

Joss Christensen, the freeskier who calls Park City home, won the gold medal in the slopestyle skiing competition, which took place Feb. 13 at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. To nab the honor, the 22-year-old bested his teammates Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper in a rare sweep of the podium. Equally as surprising at the three U.S. flags being raised at the medal ceremony: Christensen wasn't named a medal contender among the four freeskiers who'd be representing the U.S. in the event.

But hey, that makes the victory even more sweet. Here are some more facts about the gold medalist that you probably didn't know.

  • Christensen became the third Utahn to take gold in Sochi. Sage Kotsenburg, who's also from Park City, won gold in the snowboard slopestyle on Saturday, Feb. 8, and Kaitlyn Farrington, from Salt Lake City, grabbed gold in the snowboard halfpipe on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
  • Christensen graduated from Park City's The Winter Sports School and grew up skiing at Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley and the Canyons.
  • He almost didn't make the 2014 Olympic team. But it was a win at the last Visa U.S. Freeskiing Grand Prix Slopestyle competition, where he threw down two of the biggest scores of the day, that got him named to the team. That competition happened to take place practically in his own backyard in the King's Crown terrain park at Park City Mountain Resort.
  • He's part of the pro team at Park City Mountain Resort. The team also includes Olympians Ted Ligety (alpine skiing) and Sage Kotsenburg (snowboarding).
  • When the snow melts and it's summer in the mountains, Christensen says he likes to mountain bike and hit up the Park City skate park.

For more on Christensen's victory in the slopestyle event, check out this piece from the Salt Lake Tribune.