Winter Olympics: Zoi Sadowski-Synnott still shocked by bronze medal

Kiwi teen Zoi Sadowski-Synnott says being an Olympic medallist is still sinking in after winning a bronze medal in Pyeongchang.

The 16-year-old snowboarder won New Zealand's first Winter Olympics medal in 26 years when she finished third in the inaugural women's snowboard big air final on Thursday.

It capped off a memorable day for New Zealand at the games which saw another 16-year-old, Nico Porteous, win a bronze medal in the men's freestyle halfpipe ski final.

Sadowski-Synnott posted an impressive score of 157.50 after landing a double wildcat (two mid-air backflips with a grab) in her first run, which was followed up by a Switchback 900 (two and a half mid-air rotations) in the second.

She finished behind Austria's Anna Gasser and the United States' Jamie Anderson, who won gold and silver with final scores of 185.00 and 177.25 respectively.

Speaking to reporters after claiming the bronze medal, Sadowski-Synnott was still pinching herself about the whole Olympic experience.

"It was pretty crazy. I was standing next to Jamie Anderson and Anna Gasser, those riders I have looked up to and still look up to, and it was just crazy," she said.

"My heart kind of dropped and I was like, 'Is this really happening?' It is hard to explain.

"I'm sure when we get back to New Zealand it will sink in but right now I'm just happy that I got a medal for New Zealand and made them proud.

"I don't think anything can match this for a while."

It was a great way to cap off Sadowski-Synnott's maiden Olympic games after struggling in the snowboard slopestyle finals where she finished 13th.

"The slopestyle was pretty disappointing for me; I was really upset about that," she explained.

"But it was good, in a way, that I didn't do as well as I'd hoped to and then I came to big air really hungry for it and wanting to do my best."

Her coach Mitch Brown, a two-time Olympian, hopes that Sadowski-Synnott's success, along with Porteous, will inspire more people to give snow sports a try.

"Hopefully more 16-year-old can get more people into snow sports really, as that is the ideal goal at the end of the day," he said.