Alice Robinson, Nico Porteous continue NZ's stunning run of snow sport successes

New Zealand's prospects of a second consecutive multi-medal Winter Olympics continue to grow after a history-making victory by Alice Robinson.
The Kiwi teenager won the last World Cup alpine ski race of the season in Mondays (NZ time) giant slalom event in Switzerland.

An aggressive second run lifted the 19-year-old ahead of the United States dual-Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin. It was the New Zealanders third win in giant slalom on the World Cup circuit.

Alice Robinson produces storming second run to win giant slalom at World Cup in Switzerland.

Later in the morning, 19-year-old Nico Porteous won the bronze medal at the mens FIS Freeski Halfpipe World Cup in Aspen.


That continued a remarkable run of form from Porteous, who has been on the podium at every event he has competed in this season.

It feels really nice, one of those moments where it feels like all the hard work has paid off, Porteous said.

I would have loved to win all three events, but you cant do everything, and I am stoked with how I have been skiing lately.


A snowy start resulted in the halfpipe running slow and limited the technicality of the competitors runs but by the third and final run the sun had come out and the bigger, heavier tricks were evident.

The snow got so much faster. When I was dropping in for my third run I was surprised how fast I went, said the Wanaka athlete, who executed the run which won him two gold medals this season (at the X Games Aspen and World Champs) but had a deep landing on the right double 1620, resulting in a score deduction.

Joshua Duplechian/ESPN Images
Nico Porteous bounced back from a broken foot to win New Zealand's first-ever freeski halfpipe gold medal.

New Zealand won two bronze medals at the 2018 Winter Olympics, after previously only gaining one medal a silver at the 1992 Games to skier Annelise Coberger.

Porteous won bronze in the men's ski halfpipe while fellow then-16-year-old Zoi Sadowski-Synnott was third in the women's snowboarding big air.

Robinson, who became NZs youngest Winter Olympian in PyeongChang, was 35th in the GS and did not finish the slalom event but made her World Cup debut just two seasons ago at the finals in Andorra, finishing in second place as the junior world champion invitee.

She is also the first woman since the 1980s to win three World Cup races before turning 20 since Shiffrin, who racked up 13 wins as a teenager.

Gabriele Facciotti/AP
New Zealand's Alice Robinson speeds down the course at the World Cup giant slalom.

Last month, the 19-year-old just missed out on a historic medal at the Alpine World Championships in Italy.

The Queenstown skier finished fourth in the giant slalom event in Cortina, missing out on bronze by 0.64 seconds in her quest to become the first New Zealander to win an Alpine World Championship medal.

The 2002 Winter Olympics will be held in Beijing in February.

Robinson said her three World Cup wins were super exciting.

I still feel like I have a lot more to give, and I have a long way to go to be consistently winning on the tour and that is my goal going forwards, to bring this kind of skiing to every race. Its not an easy job, but it is something I am working towards.

This years has been tough, especially with Covid. Ive been in Europe for nine months and havent seen any family or been able to go home, its been difficult, but I feel like Ive learnt a lot this year and learnt how to get back up after having some failures, so I am pretty proud about today.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott of New Zealand competes in the women's snowboard big air final at the Aspen 2021 FIS Snowboard and Freeski World Championship.

Sadowski-Synott has also been excelling in the Northern Hemisphere winter.

The 20-year-old became the first person to successfully defend their world championship slopestyle crown last week when she shot from last to first on the final run to win the womens final, right before Porteous struck gold too.

She went agonisingly close to bagging a second gold at the event, beaten by Laurie Blouin by a single point in the big air final.

Additional reporting by AP

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