Zoi Sadowski Synott first tried snowboarding seven years ago, now the 16 year old has been selected to represent New Zealand in both slopestyle and big air at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The Wanaka athlete has been on a rapid rise to the top. She became the youngest woman to ever win a World Cup event in September 2017, claiming gold in slopestyle at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic.
It’s the rush of a perfectly executed trick or run that really gets her heart pumping.
“I love not knowing how I’m going to go, the nerves really kick in right before a competition then it’s just so great nailing a run and the feeling you get is so amazing, it’s such a rush,” Sadowski Synott said.
The Mt Aspiring College student says the being one of the initial selections to the New Zealand Team for PyeongChang 2018 has been “crazy”, with her high school friends unable to keep up with her progress.
“My friends couldn’t believe that I’d been selected for the Olympic Winter Games, they were like wow you really made it! And I said yeah I’ve been telling you I was going to get there!”
Above: The first athletes selected to the New Zealand Olympic Winter Games Team
Although she’s the second youngest selected to the team (behind 15 year old Nico Porteous), the athlete is ranked the highest internationally out of the Kiwis, sitting in third place for slopestyle on the FIS (International Ski Federations) official rankings.
“I don’t feel the pressure even though I’m ranked up there at the moment, you just don’t think about that sort of stuff when you’re out there, you just do your job and hope all the training pays off.”
Snowsports run in Sadowski Synotts blood. Her parents met at the famous ski resort Whistler, in Canada, and she learnt to ski there before getting into snowboarding aged 9.
“I’ve loved it ever since I started and I’m really excited to be going to the Olympic Winter Games, it’s a dream come true.”
Sadowski Synott will compete in PyeongChang before returning to complete year 13 at High School.
The Olympic Winter Games run February 9th to 25th in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Above: Sadowski Synott competing at Winter Games NZ
Footage courtesy of Winter Games NZ and Front Row MediaPyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games