New Year honours for snowsports stars

The year 2022 could not get any better for a golden trio of Wanaka snowsports superstars, who have been named in the New Year Honours list.

Paralympian gold medallist Corey Peters (alpine sit ski), and his fellow gold-medal-winning Winter Olympians Zoi Sadowski-Synnott (snowboard) and Nico Porteous (half-pipe free ski) have joined the ranks of the Member of New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM).

Paralympian gold medallist Adam Hall (alpine standing ski), also of Wanaka, was awarded the same distinction in 2011.

Peters said he and his partner Karin were stoked to learn about the MNZM.

"It is a great honour. In terms of sit-skiing I have devoted the bigger portion of the last 11 or 12 years of my life doing it.



Services to sit-skiing

"She is really stoked for me and we have both agreed it has been an amazing year, with the [gold and silver] medals back in March, then little baby Valentina [who arrived in June] and now this awesome award.

"It is certainly going to be one to beat," Peters said.

Peters is working this summer for an architectural draftsman in Wanaka and intends to travel with his family to Chile in the winter.

"I’ve been living here since 2011 now and I still haven’t experienced a summer here yet.

It will be nice to take a year out from the skiing and just enjoy the sunshine and warmer climate for once ... It will be a big change of pace from my normal athlete life of skiing down a mountain at a 100km plus.

"Also, we just had our baby girl back in June.



Services to snow sports

"She [Valentina] is almost six months now ... That’s going to be the number one priority, to be the best father and role model I can be for her."

Peters said his key motivating factor was his inner drive and desire to be the best he could be.

Even before his accident in 2009, when he sustained a spinal cord crush injury, he had put 110% into his activities.

"That is a value or trait that I have always had and I guess that’s continued after my accident in 2009 ... the motivation and drive to be the best has always been there."

The MNZM is the icing on the cake for Winter Olympian snowboarder Sadowski-Synnott, who was presented the Lonsdale Cup, the highest award from the New Zealand Olympic Committee last week.

She had also been enjoying a summer break at home and is hoping to enjoy some back country filming later this year.



Services to snow sports

"[I am] absolutely enjoying summer. It’s pretty nice to get a summer anyway cause I’m always in winter. I’ll be heading back overseas straight after new year’s on the fourth of Jan and start off in Austria and get into competing ... coming up I have a couple of world cups, X Games, world champs and also competing on the natural selection tour."

Porteous is also taking a summer holiday and could not be contacted for comment.


Corey Peters: 2011 Para Snowboard Winter Games gold medal, 2014 Paralympic Winter Games gold medal, 2018 Paralympic Winter Games bronze medal, 2022 Paralympics gold medal in the men’s downhill sitting event, silver in the men’s super-G sitting event, three-times flag-bearer for Winter Paralympic Games, numerous medals at World Championship and World Cup level, multiple Snow Sports NZ awards.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott: 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics bronze women’s medal big air, 2022 Winter Olympics gold medal slope style, silver medal big air event. Numerous medals at United States Open, X Games, World Championships level. Multiple SSNZ awards.

Nico Porteous: 2018 Winter Olympics bronze medal, men’s half-pipe; 2022 Winter Olympics gold medal men’s half-pipe; numerous other medals at X Games, World Championship, and World Cup level. Multiple SSNZ awards.