Corey Nathan Peters, Wanaka, Services to sit-skiing

Nico Porteous, Wanaka, Services to snow sports

Zoi Katherine Sadowski-Synnott Wanaka, Services to snow sports

Last year could not get any better for a golden trio of Wanaka snow sports superstars who were named in the New Year Honours list.

Paralympian gold medallist Corey Peters (alpine sit-ski), and his fellow gold-medal-winning Winter Olympians Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboard) and Nico Porteous (half-pipe free ski) have joined the ranks of the Member of New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Peters said he and his partner Karin were stoked to learn about the MNZM.

‘‘It is a great honour. In terms of sit-skiing, I have devoted the bigger portion of the last 11 or 12 years of my life [to] doing it.

‘‘[Karin] is really stoked for me and we have both agreed it has been an amazing year, with the [gold and silver] medals back in March, then little baby Valentina [who arrived in June] and now this awesome award.’’

Peters was working this summer for an architectural draftsman in Wanaka and intended to travel with his family to Chile in the winter.

‘‘I’ve been living here since 2011 now and I still haven’t experienced a summer here yet.

‘‘It will be nice to take a year out from the skiing and just enjoy the sunshine and warmer climate for once . . . It will be a big change of pace from my normal athlete life of skiing down a mountain at a 100km-plus.

‘‘Also, we just had our baby girl back in June . . . That’s going to be the number one priority — to be the best father and role model I can be for her.’’

New Year’s Honours . . . paralympian Corey Peters of Wanaka enjoys his first summer holiday in Wanaka for many years. He has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to sit-skiing. PHOTO: MARJORIE COOK

Peters said his key motivating factor was his inner drive and desire to be the best he could be.

The MNZM was the icing on the cake for Winter Olympian snowboarder Sadowski-Synnott, who was presented the Lonsdale Cup, the highest award from the New Zealand Olympic Committee last week.

She had also been enjoying a summer break at home and was hoping to enjoy some back country filming later this year.

‘‘It’s pretty nice to get a summer anyway cause I’m always in winter.

She left New Zealand on January 4 to return to international competitions.

‘‘I’ll start off in Austria — coming up I have a couple of world cups, X Games, world champs and also competing on the natural selection tour.’’

Winter Olympian free skier Porteous was also taking a summer holiday and could not be contacted for comment.


Corey Peters: 2011 Para Snowboard Winter Games gold medal; 2014 Paralympic Winter Games gold medal; 2018 Paralympic Winter Games bronze medal; 2022 Paralympics gold medal in the men’s downhill sitting event, silver in the men’s super-G sitting event; three times flag-bearer for Winter Paralympic Games; numerous medals at World Championship and World Cup level; multiple Snow Sports NZ (SSNZ) awards.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott: 2018 Winter Olympics bronze women’s medal big air; 2022 Winter Olympics gold medal slope style, silver medal big air event; numerous medals at United States Open, X Games, World Championships level; multiple SSNZ awards.

Nico Porteous: 2018 Winter Olympics bronze medal, men’s half-pipe; 2022 Winter Olympics gold medal men’s half-pipe; numerous other medals at X Games, World Championship and World Cup level; multiple SSNZ awards.