Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has added another X Games gold medal to her collection, taking out the women's big air competition in Aspen.
Just a day removed from claiming gold in the slopestyle event which saw her land a combination never seen before in competition, the 20-year-old snowboarder was too good on the mountain again.
The big air gold was one that had eluded her in her young career. In previous attempts, Sadowski-Synnott had claimed bronze (2019) and silver (2021) medals in the discipline, but was able to go to another level this time around.
Landing a backside 1080 (three full rotations in the air) and a backside 1260 (three-and-a-half rotations) - a trick she had never landed before the day - in her first and third runs, Sadowski-Synnott posted a total score of 85 - a second-run 36 among her throwaway scores - and coming from behind American Jamie Anderson to clinch the gold.
"Coming into today, I just wanted to land a back 12 (backside 1260) because I had never actually done one before. I did one in practice and it was feeling good," she said.
"I'm just stoked to be out here snowboarding and competing with all the girls. Everyone's pushing everyone; it's pretty sick.
"Everyone out here has just been sending it. It really pushes me; everyone's going insane."
With a formidable score of 85 after three runs, Sadowski-Synnott didn't try to better it in her fourth and fifth runs, and simply took the jumps for pure enjoyment.
Anderson, a 16-time X Games medallist, needed a spectacular final run in order to take the lead back from her Kiwi counterpart in her final round, but was unable to stick her jump and finished in second with a score of 82. Miyabi Onitsuka of Japan, who won gold in the event in 2020, rounded out the podium.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Jason Pine, Sadowski-Synnott said she had put in a lot of work at the Cardrona Ski Field during the New Zealand winter in preparation for the X Games and Olympics, and it was nice to see her work paying off.
"The tricks that I do are pretty high-consequence," she said. "Like, flying 60ft through the air, but we put a lot of work in behind the scenes.
"We take a lot of small steps to be able to take that really big one to try a new trick. A lot goes on behind the scenes before you calculate the risk of trying a new trick, but you have to take that step. I'm getting used to it now, and it gets a bit addicting."
With the Winter Olympics set to begin early next month in Beijing, Sadowski-Synnott goes in with plenty of confidence to back up – if not better – her big air bronze medal from Pyeongchang in 2018.
"This is crazy coming into the Olympics coming off these two golds, but at the same time I know all the other girls are hungry and I know 10 off the top of my head who are capable of winning at the Olympics.
"It's just about keeping my head down and staying focused so that I can put down what I want to put down in Beijing."