American snowboard ace Shaun White rose from a crash at Cardrona to win the Olympic gold in South Korea.

And after Scotty James claimed Australia's first men's snowboard Olympic medal, a bronze, Cardrona was referenced in the media as the nearest facility available for the Aussie to train at.

That's right. Australia has the medal, New Zealand merely has the facility.

Many of the world's top snow athletes have used the Cardrona Alpine Resort for training camps, often leaving amazed at the weather and piles of snow. New Zealand, however, still has just one Winter Olympic medal to its name — Annelise Coberger's 1992 silver.


The 19-year-old Rakai Tait did set a New Zealand halfpipe record in Pyeongchang but didn't qualify for the final, finishing 26th out of 29 as White claimed his third gold in a much-heralded showdown with James and Ayumu Hirano of Japan.

James' bronze was Australia's 14th Winter Olympics medal, and it does raise a question as to why New Zealand may not have enjoyed even just a little more medal success than Coberger's lone strike.

Back in 2013, the red-headed White — the 'Flying Tomato' — actually built his own massive halfpipe in the Snowy Mountains, in southern New South Wales. White formed a pipe said to have been as wide as an Olympic one and about half as long.

This time, he used Cardrona for Olympics preparation, suffering a crash which left facial injuries requiring 62 stitches late last year.

White has built his own training facility before, and the pipes are relatively easy to construct although they take some maintenance.

Yet AAP reported that there isn't an Olympic-sized halfpipe or 'superpipe' in any NSW or Victorian resort. James hopes to play a part in changing that.

"I'd absolutely love that," James said.

"It would make my dreams a reality to have a halfpipe in Australia - I think that would be amazing.

If not, there is always Cardrona.