Was it nearly two years ago that Ryan Lochte swam into our hearts, wearing a grill on the Olympic podium and making a valid case for why “jeah” should be added to the dictionary? Fear not, fans of charismatic and handsome athletes. We’ve found Lochte’s successor in snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg. Spoice!
The 20-year-old Park City, Utah native won the first U.S. Olympic gold in the men’s slopestyle snowboarding over the weekend, earning tons of early press and getting to mingle with American Olympic greats like Michelle Kwan and Kristi Yamaguchi. As an underdog in the event Shaun White withdrew from early last week, even Sage was surprised he made it to the finals. Once there, the first time Olympian used a trick he had never tried before in his medal-winning run. This kind of easygoing attitude and resemblance to Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High has already made him a media darling, and his frequent use of the word “spoice” should have marketing wizards brainstorming about how they can cash in.
He’s received shout-outs from Kobe Bryant and gotten to dance to Daft Punk on morning television. But does this winter wonder boy have what it takes to become a cultural force like the Locht-ness Monster? Let’s explore.
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]