Big welcome home for Kiwi medallists

Kiwi bronze medallist Nico Porteous says he can't wait to get his hands on a pie after arriving with fellow winner Zoi Sadowski-Synnott to a big welcome in Auckland.

Freeskier Porteous and snowboarder Sadowski-Synnott (both 16) are the first New Zealanders to win medals at the Winter Games since 1992, both claiming bronze at the Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Rosehill College performed an official karanga from local iwi for the team. Porteous said the welcome was "incredible, really insane".

"I think it's not going to sink in for at least a month, but I'm going to keep being myself and continue to work hard and keep skiing," he said. "It will be a day that will stay with us for a long time."
 
 

Porteous, who finished third in the freeski halfpipe final, said both he and fellow teen Sadowski-Synnott had "very sore necks" from wearing their medals. "But it's a good thing to have a sore neck from."

"I'm gonna have a pie, I'm gonna go have a steak and pepper pie, I haven't had a pie in at least a month, so I'm pretty desperate."

The duo landed at Auckland Airport along with New Zealand teammates Peter Michael, Britt Hawes and Jamie Prebble this morning.

Sadowski-Synnott and Porteous will attend a presentation at the New Zealand Olympic Committee today.

Sadowski-Synnott created history by winning bronze at the women's Big Air final. The Wanaka 16-year-old became the second New Zealander, behind slalom skier Annelise Coberger, to win a winter medal. Coberger won silver in 1992 at Albertville, France.

Sadowski-Synnott added she can't wait to get to the South Island and celebrate with friends.

"I'm excited to get down to Wanaka and see my friends and family," she said,

"I'm so excited to get back to snowboarding in a week and I don't think it will feel any different, it's just a snowboarding".

Rosehill College performed an official karanga from local iwi for the team. Photo: Getty Images
Rosehill College performed an official karanga from local iwi for the team. Photo: Getty Images

Porteous last week admitted he was so nervous he vomited multiple times before starting his run, could hardly believe it when he scored 94.8 on his second attempt in the men's halfpipe freeski.

The score was good enough for him to claim bronze and making PyeongChang New Zealand's most successful Winter Olympics.

New Zealand finished 26th on the medal table, tied with Spain.

Along with the two bronze medals, the New Zealand team also had three fourth placings and a fifth. That's an impressive six top-five finishes, four more than in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Eight years ago in Vancouver not one Kiwi finished in the top 10 in an event.

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