Zoi Sadowski-Synnott wins X Games gold medal in historic fashion

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New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski-Synnott wins gold in the slopestyle snowboard event at the X Games Aspen. Photo / Fotosport

Kiwi snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott added another medal to her vast collection, winning gold today at the prestigious X Games women’s snowboard slope in Aspen, by invitation only.

Taking a compelling lead from the start, the 20-year-old maintained her lead in all four heats to claim first place against the best in the world with a race that made history.

“It means so much to me,” he said after claiming the gold. “They were all absolutely ripped, that was the craziest race I’ve ever been in. To put that summary down, I’ve been working on it for a while, so I’m so excited.”

In her second run, after lacing together a super technical rail section that included a beveled 450 from the second rail, she got her double frontside 1080 in her double backside 1080, becoming the first woman to ever get this combination in competition.

Sadowski-Synnott explained: “I’ve been working for this for the past year and it was my goal to put it here, so I’m super happy.”

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in action.  Photo / Fotosport
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in action. Photo / Fotosport

It is the third X Games gold medal of Sadowski-Synnott’s career and his third podium in a major event of the 2022 season.

She was joined on the podium by two-time Winter Olympics slopestyle gold medal Jamie Anderson (USA) in second and Laurie Blouin (Canada) in third.

Speaking to Jason Pine of Newstalk ZB, Sadowski-Synnott coach Sean Thompson said he was “across the moon” to see her land her way in the competition.

“It did some great testing yesterday – one of the best I’ve ever seen ride – and then it warmed up today, did the 1080 front in testing,” said Thompson.

“It’s a really technical ride and with the rails he did before the jumps, they’re so hard to get over on their own. I was on the limit for the whole ride, I almost couldn’t watch.

“When he did it the first time, I was so over the moon. It was a lot of work and we were both very happy with it.”

This was the last event for Sadowski-Synnott before heading to China for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, where he will represent New Zealand in both slopestyle snowboarding and big air.

She won the bronze medal in women’s big air at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, becoming the second kiwi to win a winter Olympic medal after Annelise Coberger won silver in the women’s slalom at Albertville 1992.

Thompson said they aimed to take home the gold medal from Beijing.

“It’s a difficult sport. There is a lot to do, a lot of good competition and a lot of variables that come into play as well as the time and the course planning,” he said.

“He definitely has it in him. We trained very hard for this, he put everything into it; we will do it and we hope it works that day.”

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