By Philip O'Connor ROSA KHUTOR, Russia, Feb 5 (Reuters) - There are Olympic medals at stake for the first time in the sport's history but for most competitors in slopestyle snowboarding, camaraderie seems to come first. As the competitors stood laughing and joking in the mixed zone, American snowboarder Sage Kostenburg told Reuters that he hoped that sense of friendship wouldn't disappear when qualifying begins on Thursday. "I really hope not, we're all pretty good friends and we get on well, so it would be a shame if all that was to change and everyone turned up tomorrow all serious," the 20-year-old said, grinning. "Obviously I would be so stoked to win an Olympic medal, but just the fact that slopestyle is in the Olympics for the first time is so sick. Not many people get to do this, you know?" Kostenburg and his fellow snowboarders will be some of the the first competitors in action at the Sochi Games when they begin qualifying on Thursday, a day before the opening ceremony. The slopestyler said that qualification made the process a bit more difficult, as the athletes balance the prospect of direct qualification for the final against the need to keep something special in reserve to put them in the medal hunt. "Qualifying is hard - you can qualify directly for the finals, but you don't want to blow your best routine straight away. You've got to keep something for the show! "Besides, everyone knows what everyone else can do, but you've still got to keep some secrets for the crowd." A few metres away Australia's Scotty James was shooting the breeze and laughing in the sunshine as other competitors passed by on their way to the locker rooms. "I think that's just the nature of snowboarding - we're all pretty good friends and we like to have a laugh. I don't think that will change tomorrow. "I think that's pretty cool too, that no-one is too stressed out and stiff. I definitely try to take more of a friendly approach, to talk to everyone, have a laugh and a bit of fun about it," the Australian told Reuters. James said he was proud to be part of the biggest-ever Australian team at the Winter Games, and that he would be aiming for a spot in the final. "In slopestyle I'm aiming for a spot in the final and then just laying down the best run I can when I get there, (but) I'm in half-pipe as well, and there I'd like to make the podium." Both snowboarders expect the first slopestyle snowboard event at the Olympics to be a crowd-pleaser. "Everyone's been out there this morning throwing it down and I've been doing my best too. I think it's going to be a great competition," Kostenburg said. Given the easy, relaxed relationship that exists between the competitors, it seems that they will all celebrate no matter who wins, but Kostenburg is unsure of exactly what they will do. "I don't know. Maybe go up there and just ride some powder, get a free run," he says, before bursting into a wide smile. "With that medal around my neck!" (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
We'd expect nothing less from these two.
- Yahoo Canada Style
"It's pretty gross."
- Yahoo Life
Elizabeth Hurley poses in a blue bikini in an Instagram post all about summer fun.
Plus, a look inside their Montecito home.
- Yahoo Lifestyle SEA
Her performance in the Tokyo 2020 games had propelled her to new heights of popularity.
- In The Know
Security footage reveals who has been opening family’s front door nightly: ‘I’ve been grounding the kids’
This mom had been grounding her kids for months for leaving the front door open — only to later discover the true culprit...
- Women's Health
The DWTS alum powers her workouts with green drinks and smoothies.
Looks like someone understood the assignment!
- Business Insider
Big Tech salaries revealed: How much engineers, developers, and product managers make at companies including Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Uber, IBM, and Salesforce
US tech giants are growing quickly, minting money, and looking to hire thousands of employees in the coming months. Here's what you can make.
- Associated Press
For almost three decades, 81-year-old David Lidstone has lived in the woods of New Hampshire along the Merrimack River in a small cabin adorned with solar panels. Lidstone, or “River Dave” as he’s known by boaters and kayakers, was jailed July 15 on a civil contempt sanction. Lidstone is accused of squatting for 27 years in the cabin on private property in Canterbury.
- Business Insider
Federal judge sanctions lawyers who brought conspiracy theory-filled lawsuit trying to overturn the 2020 election, reap $160 billion in damages
The lawyers brought "fantastical" claims and tried to claim damages "greater than the annual GDP of Hungary," the judge said.
- LA Times
U.S. pitchers Joe Ryan and Scott Kazmir are big fans of the baseballs being used in the Tokyo Olympics. Would MLB consider making a switch?
- The AV Club
After months of speculation, guest hosts, excited dreams, and a general acknowledgment of the special place the series holds in the hearts of millions, Jeopardy! has apparently decided to solve its ongoing lack of a permanent host by just hiring the guy who already works there. Specifically, Variety reports that producers on the long-running game show are in “advanced negotiations” with fellow executive producer Mike Richards to take over as its permanent host. (For what it’s worth, Sony Picture
- The Wrap
Bobby Eaton, a pro wrestling star, died Wednesday of unknown causes. He was 62 years old. Eaton’s sister, Debbie Eaton Lewis, posted news of his death to Facebook: “I never wanted to have to post this, but my Little Brother Beautiful Bobby Eaton passed away last night. When I find out all the details, I will post them. Bobby was the kindest, loving person you would ever meet. I loved him so much and going to miss him.” According to wrestling news sites, Eaton was hospitalized after a bad fall in
- NBC Sports BayArea
In the bottom of the second inning Tuesday, Giants catcher Curt Casali was penalized for stopping a ball with his mask. The call had everyone wondering what a "catcher's balk" is.
Megan Rapinoe scored a goal directly from a corner kick - a rare feat she's now pulled off twice at the Olympics
The rare feat - called an "Olimpico" in honor of a 1924 goal from Argentina's Cesáreo Onzari - typically comes once in a career, if at all.
- NBC Sports Northwest
Anna Cockrell was disqualified from the womens 400m hurdles final at the Tokyo Olympics Tuesday night.
The monster platform boots have become her staple during her trip to New York City.
- Yahoo Life
The singer gave birth on July 14.
- NBC Sports BayArea
Eric Paschall now gets the opportunity to play alongside Donovan Mitchell, a long-time friend.