New Zealand teenager Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has created history by winning bronze at the women's Big Air final at the Winter Olympics in PyeonChang today.

The Wanaka 16-year-old is just the second New Zealander, behind slalom skier Annelise Coberger to win a winter medal.

Coberger won silver in 1992 at Albertville, France. It's been a 26-year wait for a follow-up but Sadowski-Synnott produced outstanding form to nail a place on the podium.

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She admitted it was ''a pretty crazy feeling'' when she realised she could not be beaten out of the bronze medal position.

"I was sitting down at the bottom after my third run and they (officials) were like 'you have to wait because you are in third'," she said.

"I just chilled and there were some heavy hitters (to come).

"The last girl went, who wasn't on the podium. She didn't land, and it was a pretty crazy feeling. It's been a long journey."

Sadowski-Synnott said she just wanted to give herself a chance to produce something special with her third run — ''something I'd never done before''.

She landed badly on that run and had to rely on her first two scores to carry her through.

"I just wanted to land those two tricks in a row. That second jump is the best I've done (scoring 92.0). I'm just so stoked."

She was swamped by coaches and fellow New Zealand team members.


"It was quite emotional because I'm always with those guys. They are so supportive and I'm so grateful to have them."

In a thrilling finish, Austrian skier Anna Gasser stole gold from two-time slopestyle Games champion Jamie Anderson with the last jump of the event.

The best two of three scores are combined to decide the placings in the inaugural Big Air at the Games. Gasser finished with 185.0, Anderson scored 177.25 and Sadowski-Synnott 157.5.

New Zealand snowboarder Zoi Sadowski Synnott. Photo / Getty
New Zealand snowboarder Zoi Sadowski Synnott. Photo / Getty

Sadowski-Synnott appeared to have been harshly marked with her first attempt — having qualified fifth — which received a 65.5 score.

However she changed the leaderboard significantly in recording a fine 92.0 with her second, which included a switch backside 900.

Going into her final attempt, Anderson led on 177.25, with Gasser on 174.5 and Sadowski-Synnott on 157.5. Only Gasser improved her score with her last run.

Sadowski-Synnott, who finished fourth at last year's world championships, needed something special to trouble the leaders but crashed on landing so had to rely on her first two scores.

It was enough for a spot of history for Sadowski-Synnott.

Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand. Photo / Getty
Zoi Sadowski Synnott of New Zealand. Photo / Getty

She was last year's New Zealand Snow Sports athlete of the year, took 13th place in her preferred slopestyle discipline earlier in the Games and admitted she was "pretty devastated I couldn't put down a clean run and see where that got me".

She took up snowboarding at nine and in 2012 "I realised that snowboarding was the sport for me. I loved it so much I wanted to skip school. I knew I wanted to go to the Olympics and the X Games".

The disappointment of the slopestyle event stayed with her and she more than made up for that today.

Sadowski-Synnott moved from Australia to New Zealand with her family when she was six. She made her World Cup debut in 2016 at Copper Mountain in the United States.

She missed with the world junior championships last year in the Czech Republic with a shoulder injury.

Her most notable achievement before today was winning a slopestyle World Cup, also at Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic.

Of her ambition to get to the Olympics when she was young, Sadowski-Synnott wrote it off as "just a dream for a little kid" – which once again proving dreams do come true.

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