New Zealand’s 20-year-old golden girl Zoi Sadowski-Synnott will not be coming home to show off her slopestyle gold medal and big air silver medal any time soon, her family said on Tuesday, after Zoi’s competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics finished.
She was planning to head to Canada this week and would remain overseas for some months.
That meant not celebrating her 21st birthday with her family on March 6, nor attending her older brother’s wedding in about six weeks’ time, they said.
But the family was undeniably proud of Zoi, who topped the big air leaderboard until she failed to stick the landing on her third and final jump, conceding the gold to Austria’s Anna Gasser.
Japanese rider Kokomo Murase took the bronze.
Zoi’s emotional parents Sean and Robin said they had never dreamed their daughter would ever win an Olympic bronze, silver and a gold – Zoi won a big air bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics – but believed in her and her drive.
“She was that close to a gold medal but by no means can you take that away from Anna Gasser, she’s an outstanding performer. Zoi did her best on the day and she’s come away with another medal,” Sean said.
When Zoi spoiled her landing on her final shot for gold, there were shouts of despair in the fan zone, but plenty of applause for her silver success.
“I think Zoi was planning to come home with some medals from this Olympic cycle. Go Zoi, we are super proud and we can’t wait to see what she does next,” 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympian freestyle skier Janina Kuzma said.
The fan zone at Cardrona Basecamp continues all week.
Wanaka’s 2018 silver medallist Nico Porteous competes in the freeski halfpipe heats today from 5.30pm. The finals are on Saturday from 2.30pm.