It was the competition’s final run, the final leap of the run. Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, a 20-year-old New Zealander who is currently the uncontested queen of slopestyle snowboarding, appeared out of nowhere.
With the second of back-to-back 1080s, she twisted herself into the air, knowing that a good landing would earn gold. She slammed against the ground squarely. She was on the verge of collapsing into the snow, but she raised them to the sky in triumph.
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won New Zealand’s first-ever gold medal at a Winter Olympic Games on Sunday morning, smashing and grabbing the women’s slopestyle crown with a thrilling last run that broke the United States’ supremacy in the tournament.
Jamie Anderson Was The Defending Champion
In the mountain village of Taizicheng, about 120 kilometers northwest of Beijing, the 20-year-old, who became Olympic champion on Waitangi Day, put down the run of her life in the biggest competition of her career to overtake American Julia Marino, who had set the benchmark with her second of three attempts that nearly held up before settling for silver. With a clutch final run of her own, Tess Coady claimed bronze to clinch Australia’s first medal.
As the judges calculated the winning score, the other medalists covered her, a rolling mass of delight and happiness in the snow, just ahead of American Julia Marino, who took silver, and Tess Coady of Australia, who took bronze.
In the drama, there was a character who was absent. The American Jamie Anderson was not named when the announcer introduced the three medalists to the sprinkling of fans at Genting Snow Park, a customary piece of pomp and ceremony in front of a pandemic-cleared grandstand.
Jamie Anderson, 31, qualified for the finals with a final score of 74.35, which was good enough for fifth place.
Jamie Anderson, a two-time Olympic gold medallist and the only woman to have won the slopestyle event, placed seventh.