New Zealand Team athletes have won gold, silver and bronze at the prestigious 2021 X Games in Aspen.
Freeskier Nico Porteous led the charge, becoming the first athlete to ever land both his right double 1620 and the combination of a right double 1620 into a left double 1620 in a halfpipe competition.
The historic run saw him win the Freeski SuperPipe Gold medal, the first time a New Zealand athlete has won the gold medal in that discipline.
“It has been a lifelong dream for me, so it is pretty surreal right now and pretty out of this world,” said the 19-year-old.
“That run has been in the works for the past year and half, I dreamt that run and have worked really hard at it and gave it my best shot to make it become a realty this NZ winter with the help of Cardrona Alpine Resort and High Performance Sport New Zealand. To be able to land it and win the gold medal is pretty unbelievable.”
Above: Porteous and his gold medal
Meanwhile Porteous’ New Zealand teammate Zoi Sadowski-Synnott claimed the Snowboard Slopestyle silver medal and the Big Air bronze medal.
In the slopestyle the 19-year-old laid down a 50/50 gap to back board, front lip to switch and a switch front blunt 270 on the rail section. In the jump section Sadowski-Synnott went huge, performing a switch back 900 mute grab into a back 900 melon grab then into a cab under flip 540 and a crippler on the transition features.
In the big air 19-year-old Sadowski-Synnott landed a front 1080 and a back 1080 for a combined score of 86 to claim her second medal of the event and the fifth X Games medal of her career.
Above: Sadowski Synnott in the big air
“At X Games there is definitely the feeling in the air that this is the biggest competition of the season and this is where you want to do your best,” said the 19-year-old.
“To get on the big air podium was especially amazing because of how high the level is right now. My goal for the event was to land a back 1080 and a front 1080, that’s what I came here to do so I am super happy.”
X Games is widely regarded as the pinnacle event of the season, with only the top athletes in the world offered an exclusive invite.Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Nico Porteous Zoi Sadowski-Synnott