The first ever Gold Medalist in Snowboard Slopestyle, Sage Kotsenberg, knows that his signature moves need good food as fuel to get him through those epic runs. Sage spoke to FoodSided about food as fuel, the Winter Olympics and Blasted Shreds.
During the 2014 Sochi Olympics, a new snowboarding event debuted. Snowboard Slopestyle combined aerial maneuvers with ramps and rails. During that Winter Olympics, a charismatic star emerged, Sage Kotsenberg. After winning both the first ever Snowboard Slopestyle Gold Medal and the USA’s first Olympic Medal of the 2014 games, Sage soared to stardom, even earning him the coveted Wheaties box.
As other USA Snowboarders dream of earning their place in snowboarding history, Sage Kotsenberg sat down to talk with FoodSided about food, life balance, Winter Olympics and his partnership with Blasted Shreds.
Below are some thoughts and impressions from our conversation.
Sage Kotsenberg talks food as fuel, Winter Olympics and Blasted Shreds, photo provided by Fast Horse Media Relations
Snowboarding, both competition style and back country snowboarding, requires a lot of energy. Food serves as the fuel to make it through all those epic runs. According to Kotsenberg, the two different scenarios can require different food choices.
When at home, a bowl of cereal can start the day before hitting the slopes. When it comes to backcountry skiing, he has to be more conscious of having smart food choices to stay energized. Stopping to take a food break is key to keep his energy up during the long, effort-filled runs.
These choices are different from his Winter Olympics’ days. According to Kotsenberg, eating during the Winter Olympics is a little like eating because you have to. The cafeteria style food choices may not have been his favorite choices, but the food got the job done. He knew that he had to eat to keep his energy up. Even if the food wasn’t his favorite.
Who knew that the Olympic food choices may not be a plethora of clean eating? It makes you wonder how all these athletes perform at their utmost best during the pinnacle of competition. All that training, sacrifice and hard work for years up to the competition must be integral to the athletes’ success.
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Now a vegetarian, Kotsenberg has noticed a difference in how his body responds. Previously, he would eat anything and everything. Traveling the world allows an athlete like him to sample all types of intriguing foods. While he had said yes to everything in front of him, he now scales back.
Just because he is more conscious of the foods that he eats, Kotsenberg can still give into food cravings. Currently in the Alps, it can be hard to always make the most sensible food choices. While he might not opt for the more unusual foods, he understands that life can have some balance.
But, Kotsenberg doesn’t necessarily believe that everyone has to follow a regimented diet. Kids, especially kid athletes, need those indulgences. Just like pushing a kid too hard to train and compete, following a super restrictive diet can backfire. Kids need those treats sometimes. For example, a cereal with a sweeter flavor but still packed with whole grains, can make kids happy without being too over the top.
As a part of an elite group of athletes who have been on a Wheaties box, Kotsenberg understood the impact that experience had on him, the sport he loves and the future snowboarders. He considered the day of the unveiling one of the best moments of his life. The opportunity allowed him to bring a sport that he loves to millions of people. He was thrilled with the idea of future snowboarders being inspired to dream big. Kids who love to hit the slopes can see him standing with the likes of Jordan on the iconic Wheaties box.
Blasted Shreds, epic new shredded wheat, photo provided by Fast Horse Media Relations
Continuing his desire to share the love of snowboarding and slopestyle with the next generation, Kotsenberg is joining with Blasted Shreds, a General Mills company, to encourage kids to hit the slopes and enjoy a hearty, yet fun, bowl of cereal to start the day. Blasted Shreds is hosting a special event at Snowmass in Aspen. During the day, everyone can sample the new Blasted Shreds.
Available in both Peanut Butter Chocolate and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Blasted Shreds isn’t your parents’ shredded wheat. While whole wheat is the first ingredient, the flavors are kid friendly and fun. From the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate to everyone’s favorite Cinnamon Toast Crunch, one spoonful can make you a do double take.
Just like during our conversation with Kotsenberg, Blasted Shreds, with its epic flavors, are something that kids will enjoy. Chocolate is always a popular choice and who doesn’t enjoy eating something with a little sweetness as a treat.
With the 2018 Winter Olympics going strong, FoodSided asked Sage Kotsenberg who we should look for on the USA Snowboarding team. According to him, Red Gerard is a great kid with lots of potential. Could he be the next snowboard slopestyle USA Olympian? Maybe one of the kids at Snowmass in Aspen at the Blasted Shreds event could be a future Olympian too.