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Less than 48 hours after Wanaka-based athletes Dougal Allan and Simone Maier won the prestigious Coast to Coast multisport event, Wanaka snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won gold in the women's slopestyle at the world skiing/snowboarding championships in Utah.
The 17-year-old won the title based on her top qualifying run after the final was cancelled due to poor weather. It was New Zealand's first gold medal at a world championships.
The Olympic Games bronze medallist and X-Games gold medallist was on the phone to her mother when she received the unexpected gold medal news.
"I was literally talking to my mum when I opened the door and one of the New Zealand coaches was standing there telling me 'you're world champion' and I was like `woah, that's crazy news after the past 24 hours'. My mum was also pretty stoked and couldn't believe it.''
She had just finished cooking breakfast for her New Zealand team-mates. The win was based on scores in qualifying in which she had notched a score of 91.75.
Sadowski-Synnott was not intending to compete in the final due to a concussion she picked up in her second run in qualifying.
Her father, Sean Synnott, said yesterday, his daughter was fine but had decided to take it easy and not front for the final.
"It's been an anxious 24 hours for us. She had made the decision she was not going to compete and so had gone back to the accommodation and was resting up,'' he said.
He said his daughter was stunned by the victory and made up for the cancellation of the Big Air event last week, also because of weather.
"I've always said she must get the luck of the Irish from her grandfather. But she goes into every event with no expectation ... she just wants to do as well as she can and wants everyone to do well.
"It is a balancing act. To get in a good head space, have a good support team around her, plans are well thought out and people around her understand the plans. Plus I think she understands her own mental and physical ability to do things.''
It has been a great 12 months for Sadowski-Synnott following the bronze medal in South Korea and the X-Games gold medal. She has the Burton US Open at Vail in Colorado in two weeks.
- Additional reporting by NZME