Get in the zone – the fan zone.

For the first time the New Zealand Olympics Committee is holding a Winter Olympics fan zone for fans and supporters to get behind the New Zealand Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics team.

NZHQ opened on Saturday at Apres by Cardrona in Wanaka in time to watch PyeongChang Olympic bronze medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and team-mate Cool Wakushima drop in for the women’s slopestyle qualifiers at Genting Snow Park.

Concentration was intense as fans watched Sadowski-Synnott land her qualifying runs, with supporters erupting with pride as she was confirmed the top qualifier for Sunday’s finals.

Sadowski-Synnott went on to claim gold first in the history of the Winter Olympics.

In the zone . . . Friends, family and supporters at the NZHQ Fanzone watch New Zealand snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott compete in her second Slopestyle qualifying run at the Beijing Olympics on Saturday afternoon. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

New Zealand Olympic Committee NZHQ media manager Alex Kerr said fan zones had previously been run in Auckland for the summer Olympics. However it was the first time one had been held for the Winter Olympics.

Eleven of the 15 athletes representing New Zealand in Beijing hailed from Wanaka and Queenstown, so it made sense to bring the fan zone to Wanaka, Mrs Kerr said.

Multiple viewing areas and screens were set up for people to watch the athletes live, with activity areas planned for school groups during the week.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming local schools from throughout the district Queenstown, Wanaka Arrowtown and so on here during the days and they’ll be engaged in lots of fun activities.

“They’ll get to meet some Olympians and find out what it’s like to go over and compete at the games. We’ve got some cool activations for them as well,” she said.

“It’s a really fun way to learn what the Olympics is about.”

Sadowski-Synnott’s father Sean Synnott said the family normally gathered together at home to watch her compete. However Cardrona had set up a specific area for athletes’ families which enticed them out.

He said it was great to see people coming out in support of the athletes.

“It’s been awesome. We never expected to see so many people [because of Covid],” he said.

There had been a “bit of anxiety” for him in the early morning before the qualifiers but the nerves settled once Sadowski-Synnott completed her first run.

“I love the fact that she did a pretty safe run first and then for the second run she took the handbrake off,” he said.

NZHQ will be open from 2pm daily until February 20, with New Zealand athletes competing every day except February 10 and 16.

Gold medal a family moment