Winter Olympics: Nico Porteous says Zoi Sadowski-Synnott's success inspired him to bronze medal in Pyeongchang

Kiwi Winter Olympian Nico Porteous says Zoi Sadowski-Synnott's success inspired him to a bronze medal in the men's freestyle halfpipe ski final in Pyeongchang.

The 16-year-old became New Zealand's youngest-ever medallist at the Olympics with a third-place finish in the final on Thursday afternoon (NZ time), beating out some of the best skiers in the world - including fellow Kiwi Beau-James Wells, who finished fourth.

His triumph came two hours after Sadowski-Synnott won bronze in the snowboard big air final.

Porteous' second-run score of 94.8 had him in first place briefly, but he ended up finishing behind Americans David Wise and Alex Ferreira, who won gold and silver respectively.

Speaking to reporters after claiming bronze, Porteous said he heard the news of Zoi's success moments before he was due to compete.

"We were doing the last runs of training and we see Zoi got bronze, and I was like 'yeah that was sick'," he said. "I just used that as complete inspiration.

"But it didn't feel like I had any pressure out on me today, and I was going to try to go out and land a personal best (PB) and that's exactly what I did - and I landed two PB runs in a row, which is pretty insane for me." 

After scoring 82.50 in his first run, the Wanaka teen topped it on his second, landing five clean double cork variations, which gave him the 94.8 score.

Porteous admitted he had only ever done three double corks in a run before.

"In the first run I did four doubles and in my second run I did five. I felt pretty dizzy at the end, but we got it done.

"I feel so proud to be a New Zealander right now and to have everyone back home, and my family here with my older brother watching at the bottom of the halfpipe was pretty cool."

After putting up two PB's in the first two runs, Porteous admitted he had nothing left in the tank so for his final run, he decided to cruise down the track.

"I had nothing left to do so I had absolutely nothing left in the tank, I couldn't have improved any more.

"I didn't mean to come across cocky and if I did, I'd feel extremely bad - but I just wanted to ski down, and that's all I can do.

"Even if I didn't get on the podium I would have to be so happy and so proud be a New Zealander and land that run."


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