Australia's loss is New Zealand's gain at the Winter Olympics.

With her outstanding display to win bronze in the inaugural Big Air event in PyeongChang today, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott secured New Zealand's second Winter Olympic medal, 26 years after Annelise Coberger's silver at Albertville, France.

But had Sadowski-Synnott stayed and been raised in the land of her birth — Australia — it would have been the cobbers across the Ditch having the last laugh.

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Sadowski-Synnott moved to New Zealand with her family at six.

She took up snowboarding at nine. Five years ago she acknowledged that it had become a significant part of her young life.

"I realised that snowboarding was the sport for me," she said.

"I loved it so much I wanted to skip school. I knew I wanted to go to the Olympics and the X Games."

Sadowski-Synnott, at 16, had made her mark as a junior grade athlete and gradually moved up the ladder to the point where she made her World Cup debut in 2016 at Copper Mountain in the United States.

In a hint of what was to follow, Sadowski-Synnott finished fourth in the Big Air event at the 2016 world championships and won silver in slopestyle. She went on to win World Cup gold in slopestyle in Spindleruv Mlyn in the Czech Republic. She is the youngest woman to win slopestyle gold.

That was also the scene of the world junior championships, which she had to sit out due to a shoulder injury.

That helped her win the New Zealand Snow Sports athlete of the year award last year.

Her success today comes from an unpromising leadup in terms of results. She is ranked eighth in slopestyle on the World Cup circuit — and finished a disappointing 13th at the start of the Olympics in that discipline — and doesn't have a Big Air ranking at all, which just proves rankings don't mean much. It's all about delivering on the day.

Her best result this season was a third in slopestyle at Cardrona.

Still at Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka, she 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 having learnt to ski as a pre-schooler, joined in her older sister's lessons at the now-closed Snow Park near Wanaka — where her parents Sean Synnott and American-born Robin Sadowski were managers.

Outside school, she loves skating, which has some similarities to her snowboarding pursuits.