New Zealand's Winter Olympics campaign has exceeded its medal target after a historic day which saw teenagers Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous claim bronze medals in the space of two hours.

The historic medal haul was welcomed with pride but also some relief by NZ Winter Olympics chef de mission Pete Wardell, who promised he would "eat his hat" if New Zealand didn't return home with any medals.

"[The target] was one medal," Wardell told NewstalkZB. "That was what high performance sport said to us, 'we need to get a medal'.

"I think I made a comment unfortunately that I would eat my hat if we didn't. So couple days ago I was looking around for a really small tasty hat but I don't need it now."


Sadowski-Synnott's bronze in the women's big air final made her the first New Zealander to medal at the Winter Olympics since Annelise Coberger won silver at the 1992 games in France.

Just two hours later, Nico Porteous claimed bronze in the men's halfpipe freeski becoming the country's third medallist in the history of the Winter Olympics.

Nico Porteous after winning his bronze medal. Photo / Getty
Nico Porteous after winning his bronze medal. Photo / Getty

Wardell said the achievement of the two 16-year-olds was "absolutely wonderful".

"We lost three of our big name stars before we even got here and I think Ashley Light, high performance director of Snow Sports, said 'right, time for the youngies to step up', and that's exactly what they've done.

"Two 16-year-olds with bronze medals at an Olympics, just quite stunning."

Wardell praised the country's efforts at the games and said the reactions from people all over the world have been amazing.

"People from all over just think it's superb to see young people out there having fun, loving what they're doing and being superb.

"From a little country, South Pacific, bottom of the world, but we're strutting it with the big guys.


"We've got a few events to go. Two medals and three fourths is just fantastic."

Carlos Garcia Knight will hope to add to New Zealand's medal count on Saturday when he competes in the final of the men's snowboarding big air.

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