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Snow Sports NZ Celebrates Successful Olympic Winter Games

Snow Sports NZ Celebrates Successful Olympic Winter Games Campaign

Media release

PyeongChang, South Korea (25 February 2018) – The official closing ceremony of the 2018 PyeongChang Games will be held in Korea this evening with the New Zealand team celebrating its most successful ever Olympic Winter Games.

The results have exceeded targets set by the Snow Sports NZ High Performance Programme prior to the Games. The target of 1 + medal and multiple finals placings was agreed with High Performance Sport NZ in 2014. The athletes have been building steadily over the last four years delivering multiple world cup, world championship and premier event results under the leadership of Marty Toomey as CEO and Ashley Light as Performance Director.

Snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and freeskier Nico Porteous both claimed bronze medals in PyeongChang, while Beau-James Wells finished just off the podium in fourth place and Carlos Garcia Knight in fifth. Byron Wells, Finn Bilous, Janina Kuzma, Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Carlos Garcia Knight also claimed top 16 results in their respective disciplines.

On behalf of the Snow Sports NZ Board Chair David Wallace extends congratulations to all of the athletes who competed.

“The success of the PyeongChang 2018 campaign is the result of a well-executed strategy and reflects the calibre of the Snow Sport NZ’s High Performance Programme leadership, its athletes and support staff,” said Wallace.

Coaching has been a key priority and focus for the programme over the last eight years and a watershed shift in 2014 saw the emergence of a team coaching approach headed up by Head Park and Pipe Coach Tom Willmott. The team coaching approach has allowed athletes to access multiple coaches with complementary skill sets across the board from planning and aerial awareness through to on snow coaching. Ultimately it is the quality of the coaching team that has allowed the athletes to step their way through the pathway meeting targets and winning medals along the way.

Our athletes and coaches are supported by a dedicated team of staff including, medical personnel (doctors, surgeons, physiotherapists), servicemen and wax technicians, sports psychologists, performance analysts, nutritionists, athlete life advisors and administrators who all work exceptionally hard to ensure they have every opportunity to achieve their potential and be competitive. The services provided and supported by HPSNZ are a key element to enable athlete health and wellbeing, the partnership with the performance services pillar of HPSNZ SSNZ has attracted and developed world leaders in the specific area of winter sports.

With the staff and support in place the ongoing improvement in facilities for the athletes to utilise have been a focus for the programme. Working closely with Sport NZ and HPSNZ the trampoline, gym and recovery facilities have enabled athletes to work on all elements of athleticism. The on-snow facilities with the resort partners Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt have also made a huge impact on the quality of training available to the athletes.

The inclusion of the landing air bag has seen the biggest breakthrough in the programme’s ability to push skill progression and ensure athlete injury levels are minimised. The air bag was purchased using the facilities grant awarded to SSNZ by Sport NZ to increase the competitive abilities of the athletes.


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