The Winter Games opened the door to slopestyle snowboard and ski events in 2014 and the U.S. team officially blew that door off its hinges Thursday, sweeping the winter podium for only the third time in the country's history and adding three medals to an already impressive haul in the disciplines.
Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper looked more like kids at play than Olympians under pressure as they dominated the rest of the world on the ski slopestyle course. They celebrated as if they had tied for gold, but the win was especially sweet for Christensen, 22, of Park City, Utah, who lost his father six months ago. He joins U.S. slopestyle snowboarders Sage Kotsenburg and Jamie Anderson as Olympic champions.
The U.S. has occupied all three places on the podium in the Winter Olympics just twice before, in men's figure skating (1956) and men's halfpipe (2002).