ZB

Kiwi star claims another X Games gold

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 23 Jan 2022, 1:46pm
(Photo / Getty Images)
(Photo / Getty Images)

Kiwi star claims another X Games gold

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 23 Jan 2022, 1:46pm

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott is peaking at the perfect time. 

With the Winter Olympic Games fast approaching, the 20-year-old snowboarder 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, Sadowski-Synnott was too good on the mountain again. 

The big air gold was one that had alluded her in her young career to date. 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 and a backside 1260 in her first and third runs respectively, 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. 

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. 

- by Christopher Reive