Snowboarder takes ultimate prize

First, back-to-back 900s and a double wildcat. Now, back-to-back supreme titles at the Otago Sports Awards.

Eighteen-year-old Wanaka snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott joined an elite group when she was named the supreme winner at the Otago Sports Awards at the Dunedin Town Hall last night.

She is the sixth person and the first woman to win the award at least twice.

Greg Henderson (5), Hamish Bond (5), Danyon Loader (4), Carl Hayman (2) and Brendon McCullum (2) are the other multiple winners.

Last year, Sadowski-Synnott joined Tanya Murray and Alison Palmer (nee Shanks) as the third woman to win the overall award.

She got there on the back of her extraordinary effort to claim bronze in the big air event at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

She upgraded from Olympic bronze to gold at the X-Games in January with a wonderful performance in Aspen.

Sadowski-Synnott stomped her first run with back-to-back 900s and a double wildcat - a new language for most of us - to set up her victory.

She got the nod for the supreme award ahead of the other category winners.

Classy All Black and Highlanders outside back Ben Smith was named Sportsman of the Year. He collected the award in 2016 as well and has had another stellar year.

If he can help deliver World Cup glory in Japan later this year, he might be in line for another title.

Dunedin Technical won the Team of the Year category. It beat the winners of the Mainland and Capital football leagues before beating Forrest Hill Milford United 4-2 to win the Kate Sheppard Cup in an incredible final in Auckland.

Tim Cafe collected the prize reserved for the best coach in the region. A former Olympic downhill racer, he got the award for his work with alpine skier Alice Robinson.

Sevens star Vilimoni Koroi won the Junior Sportsman category. Koroi helped the All Black Sevens claim gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and was part of the Otago side which won the Ranfurly Shield from Waikato.

The Junior Sportswoman award went to Robinson. The Queenstown skier won a stunning silver medal at a World Cup event and appears to have a very bright future.

Jono Bredin was named Official of the Year. He was a finalist the previous two years, but his efforts umpiring the netball final at the Commonwealth Games saw him victorious this time.

Peter Becker received the Services to Sport award for his contribution to curling. His skills as a coach and administrator and the many hours he has devoted to the sport was described as a lifetime's worth of work.

Dunedin company Igtimi won the Innovation in Sport award. For the past 11 years, Igtimi has worked on GPS hardware and cloud based real-time software to help coaches and sports scientists boost their athletes' performance.

The awards are organised by Sport Otago for the purpose of recognising excellence in sporting achievement across the province. The finalists and winners were selected by Megan Gibbons (Otago Polytechnic), Steve Hepburn (Otago Daily Times), Craig Cumming (NZME), Dean Horo (High Performance Sport New Zealand) and John Brimble (Sport Otago).

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