There's a 1960s song, by Harry Nilsson, the opening line of which is "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do".

It wasn't written about New Zealand's medal tally at Winter Olympics, but it could have been.

Standing alone, as she has done for 26 years, is slalom skier Annelise Coberger.

She stunned the alpine world with her sizzling second run to take the silver medal at Albertville, France. She was only overtaken late in the piece by Austrian Petra Kronberger. It deserves to be ranked among the finest of New Zealand Olympic performances, given all factors surrounding it, but at times seems to be forgotten.


So it's high time the medal count doubled. In Summer Olympics, New Zealand have won 47 golds, 27 silver and 46 bronze. It's clearly an unfair comparison.

There has been confident talk out of New Zealand officials Coberger will no longer be on her own by the time the closing ceremony takes place in PyeongChang.

There's a belief New Zealand is making progress, not only on the ice but also in the freeskiing and snowboarding disciplines.

In the leadup there have been pockets of quality performances and results, with the likes of snow-boarders Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Tiarn Collins, and alpine skier Alice Robinson showing their potential.

Maybe Nico Porteous - by only a few days the second youngest to Robinson in the New Zealand team - can fulfil the promise he showed when he became the first 14-year-old to perform a triple cork 1440 at Cardrona two years ago. Don't ask for a specific definition but it's seriously classy. Check it out on YouTube.

This is the one time every four years non-winter types sit up and take notice in this country. Call it the Olympic factor.

If you want your appetite whetted, switch on about 3pm tomorrow for the men's downhill final. Serious cojones are required here. There's a pile of different winter disciplines to feast on but just as athletics is the centrepoint of the Summer Games, so the alpine sports take pride of place in winter.

If you haven't heard of Mikaela Shiffrin, you will. The slalom racer is set to become the star of the Games, the overall reigning World Cup champion, and on the back of becoming the youngest Winter Olympic slalom champion, at 18, in Sochi four years ago.

There's a pile of diverse, and, to New Zealand eyes, unusual sport to watch for the next two weeks. Enjoy.