16 year old Olympic bronze medallist Nico Porteous is back in New Zealand where he’s enjoying being a typical Kiwi teenager.
“It’s been great catching up on school, seeing my mates and doing non skiing sports for a bit. On the weekend I went on a motorbike ride then an overnight bike ride so I’ve just been doing lots of activities,” said Porteous.
Above: Porteous following his bronze medal win
Porteous won bronze for New Zealand at the Olympic Winter Games in February. Since then he’s been competing in the Northern Hemisphere, with his latest event a World Cup in France.
“At that competition I went really well in qualifying but then in finals training I had a bad landing and I was like ooh something’s really wrong with my knee.
“I was worried I’d done my ACL so eventually I got an MRI and luckily it wasn’t that bad but I wasn’t able to compete in the final.”
The year 12 high school student will attend a training camp at Mammoth Ski Resort in California next month ahead of the New Zealand ski season.
“I feel like I’m gaining a bit of confidence in all my tricks, technically I’m still the same but I’m also less nervous and scared before doing the tricks and that’s really good for my skiing.
“I’m not working on new tricks but rather technique stuff which is amplitude [height out of the halfpipe] so that’s what I’ll work on at mammoth.”
Above: Porteous and teammate Zoi Sadowski-Synnott at the closing ceremony
The next big competition for Porteous will be the Winter Games NZ where he’ll compete in halfpipe.
The Wanaka local is justifiably proud of the competition on his home turf.
“It’s so cool because you tell all your friends about New Zealand and they see all these photos and videos but it doesn’t do it justice, so when they get here they’re like woah this place is insane!
“All the Northern Hemisphere athletes are used to living on the ski field surrounded by snow but here you drive down the mountain and can go out on a boat on these beautiful lakes or do activities which is pretty special.”
Reflecting on his Olympic medal win is still surreal for Porteous.
“When I show the medal to a friend or someone it’s pretty crazy to look at it and be like that’s mine and it’s never going to ever be taken away me, I still can’t believe it sometimes.”
The Winter Games NZ begin on August 25th.PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games Nico Porteous