Five snowsports athletes have been named for New Zealand’s Beijing Winter Olympic team and more are to be announced before December.
Queenstown alpine skier Alice Robinson (19) and four Wanaka freeskiers in 2018 Olympic bronze medallists Zoi Sadoswki-Synnott (20) and Nico Porteous (19), fellow 2018 Olympian Finn Bilous (21), and first-time Olympian Margaux Hackett (22) have done enough to impress the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
All five will soon be leaving New Zealand to train and prepare for the Games in February next year.
Robinson was a member of the 2018 Winter Olympics team when she was just 16.
Since then, she has gone on to become one of New Zealand’s most successful ski racer, stunning the alpine ski-racing world with five FIS world cup podiums.
“I’ve grown a lot as a person and as an athlete over the past four years.
“PyeongChang was a fantastic experience for me and I learned a lot from it. I’ve made a lot of gains since then and I’m really looking forward to Beijing and I’ll be doing everything I can to get on the podium,” Robinson said.
Several more snow and ice-sport athletes will be working towards qualification in the northern hemisphere over the coming months.
Olympic committee chief executive Kereyn Smith said the five athletes had worked hard to get to this point and it was great to be naming Olympic medallists and world champions in the first round of selections.
“We are looking forward to watching these athletes represent our nation and add to our proud Olympic legacy as they earn the fern in Beijing next year,
Snow Sports NZ high performance director and chief executive Nic Cavanagh said the five athletes had delivered world-class performances during the Olympic qualification period.
All were ranked among the world’s best in their chosen disciplines, he said.
It is expected 2800 athletes will compete at the Beijing Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20.
The 2018 PyeongChang Games were New Zealand’s most successful.
Porteous and Sadowski-Synnott won a bronze medal each, while their team-mates recorded three fourths and a fifth.
Six Olympic diplomas (top-eight finish) were awarded.