Sochi medalists, one year later
Sochi Winners, One Year Later
One year ago this month, the lives of a dozen or so freeski and snowboard athletes were flipped upside down when they won gold medals for their countries at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in Russia. Here, we check in to see what's changed for the freeski and snowboard slopestyle and halfpipe gold medalists since bringing home the prestigious hardware.
Sage Kotsenburg, Snowboard Slopestyle
"Life hasn't changed that much," says Sage Kotsenburg, the American who captured snowboarding's first slopestyle gold medal in the Olympics. "I have gotten to meet so many kids who share the same love of snowboarding. I'm stoked to see that. I remember being young and meeting snowboarders I looked up to and that motivated me to become who I am today."
Jamie Anderson, Snowboard Slopestyle
South Lake Tahoe's Jamie Anderson (bottom row, second from left) has been keeping busy since her gold-medal performance in women's snowboard slopestyle in Sochi. She was recently "fired" from the Donald Trump/NBC show "Celebrity Apprentice," where she was competing for big mountain snowboarder Jeremy Jones's nonprofit climate change organization, and she caught a few European pow days this month too.
Joss Christensen, Ski Slopestyle
"It's crazy to think that a year ago I wasn't a 'gold medalist.' I was just Joss," Joss Christensen says. Like fellow Park City, Utah, native and good friend Sage Kotsenburg, he was somewhat of a dark horse in slopestyle. Christensen took home the gold in ski slopestyle, rounding out an American sweep of the podium. "After the Olympics my life went from cruise control to hyper-speed, but the experiences and opportunities have been more than worth it," he says. After Sochi, Christensen filmed with TGR at the site of the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, pictured here.
Dara Howell, Ski Slopestyle
"I've been a lot busier," says Dara Howell, the women's ski slopestyle gold medalist from Canada. "The best part about winning my medal is having the opportunity to meet so many great people. I'm thankful for that." Howell also signed with Red Bull and now benefits from their sports science and training programs.
I-Pod, Snowboard Halfpipe
Iouri Podladtchikov, better known as I-Pod, took home the gold in a heated men's snowboard halfpipe competition in Sochi. Following the games, Podladtchikov's art and fashion photography career began to heat up internationally. He shot with model Aurlie Claudel in May 2014, among others.
Kaitlyn Farrington, Snowboard Halfpipe
"I feel like my life changed so much in the first six months after receiving my medal," says Kaitlyn Farrington, the American who captured gold in women's snowboard halfpipe. In January, Farrington announced her retirement at the age of 25 due to a degenerative spine condition. Despite the diagnosis, Farrington maintains the gold medal is a dream come true that came with perks, like being the Daytona 500 honorary race official in February 2014.
David Wise, Ski Halfpipe
"Oh ... I bought a house and had another kid," David Wise says with a laugh. The Reno, Nevada, native won freeskiing's first gold medal in men's ski halfpipe. "It has always been important to me to remain true to who I am, no matter how famous or fortunate I become. Sure, more people pay attention to what I have to say now, and my bank account looks a lot better, but I'm still just a pro skier and family man. I hope that never changes."
Maddie Bowman, Ski Halfpipe
For Maddie Bowman, with a gold medal comes responsibility. The South Lake Tahoe skier won the women's freeski halfpipe gold medal. "I still feel like the same person, but now I know there are younger kids looking up to me and I feel more responsibility to get these kids into sports and have fun, especially girls," she says.