22 Feb 2018

Sadowski-Synnott wins first medal for New Zealand in Pyeongchang

9:02 pm on 22 February 2018
Zoi Sadowski Synnott at the awards ceremony.

Zoi Sadowski Synnott at the awards ceremony. Photo: PhotoSport

New Zealand snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has won a bronze medal in the women's big air competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

It's New Zealand's first medal of the Games and just the country's second Winter Olympics medal ever, following skier Annelise Coberger's silver medal at the 1992 Albertville Games.

Sadowski-Synnott scored 65.80 in her first run, but rocketed into third spot when she posted a score of 92 in her second run and held on.

Zoi Sadowksi-Synnott was bitterly disappointed with her final placing.

Zoi Sadowksi-Synnott was bitterly disappointed with her final placing. Photo: Photosport

Sadowski-Synnott - who is only 16 years old and the youngest member of New Zealand's Winter Olympics team - finished with a total of 157.50.

It's the first time the Big Air competition has been held at the Olympics, with the event won by Anna Gasser of Austria with a combined score of 185.00 from her two best runs.

Jamie Anderson of the United States took the silver with 177.25

Sadowski-Synnott told Checkpoint she was stoked but the win had quite hit yet.

"I'm just chilling here doing a lot of media stuff, so yeah once I get the medal it'll probably hit."

She said she was relaxed going into the event after a disappointment in her preferred event slope style.

"It was just chilling for big air, we were just trying to do our best but didn't really care about the outcome."

Sadowski-Synnott was whisked away for drug testing while her team-mate Nico Porteous competed but was thrilled to hear he got the bronze.

"We're all so supportive of each other and we all know what each other is capable of," she told Checkpoint.

"We're just so stoked when someone does well."

Snowboard Big Air ladies winners Anna Gasser (centre, Gold) from Austria, Jamie Anderson (left, Silver) from the USA and Zoi Sadowski Synnott (right, Bronze) from New Zealand.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott Photo: PhotoSport

Sadowski-Synnott learnt to ski as a pre-schooler and switched to snowboarding at the age of 9, joining in on her older sister's lesson at SnowPark NZ and encouraged by her brothers and dad.

With her family keen to teach her the tricks of the trade, her competitive nature kicked in and Sadowski-Synnott began to enjoy the energy and excitement of event days and the challenge of putting down big tricks in front of a crowd.

At the World Champs in March 2016, Sadowski-Synnott finished fourth in Big Air and claimed a silver medal in slopestyle.

She went on to claim World Cup gold in slopestyle in Spindleruv Mlyn two weeks later, and at 16 is the youngest woman to win gold in snowboard slopestyle.

Sadowski-Synnott finished 13th in the women's snowboard slopestyle at PyeongChang 2018 before winning bronze in the women's snowboard Big Air.