X Games : Kiwi Zoi Sadowski-Synnott reflects on historic slopestyle gold medal

Kiwi snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synott is still coming to terms with her history-making feats in Colorado - a day that began as just another rudimentary run on the practice slopes and ended with NZ's first-ever X Games snowboarding gold medal dangling around her neck.

The 17-year-old was originally named as an alternate reserve for the women's slopestyle, but soon found herself back in the thick of the action, with an opportunity to add to the silver medal she won at Friday's 'Big Air'.

"At the start of the week, I was only in it for the Big Air, so that was my main focus," Sadowski-Synnott told Newshub. "I was really here to just put down two tricks that I'd never really done before and put them together in competition.

"I didn't realise I was competing until this morning - about an hour before the competition started - so that was pretty crazy."

The short notice did little to deter the Olympic bronze medallist, who proceeded to immediately stick the two tricks she knew would put her among the podium contenders.

"Today, I just wanted to land a run with a 'switch-back nine' and a 'double wildcat'. I managed to do that two runs before the competition started, while I was in practice, and then I managed to put it down on my first run in the competition.

Sadowski-Synnott shows off her gold medal.
Sadowski-Synnott shows off her gold medal. Photo credit: Supplied

"It was just the best feeling ever, coming in with a '90'. I don’t think I've ever got a 90 in a slopestyle competition before, so it was insane to get it at an X Games.

"Coming into that second run, I was just hoping to step it up and get a smoother run down, and the third run, I upped myself by a point, which was pretty sick."

The Wanaka native then faced a nervous wait at the bottom of the slopes, as her fellow competitors gradually completed their efforts, keeping her expectations in check, before confirmation that her dream had officially been realised.

"I honestly can't describe it. I've dreamed of this ever since I started snowboarding - I never expected this coming into this week.

"I was just really stoked with how I rode and how all the other girls were riding, so that in itself was good for me, for just how amazing this week was. It was beyond my wildest dreams."

It's the second X Games gold meal won by a New Zealander, after Jossi Well's win in the freeski slopestyle in 2016.

New Zealand now has a total of three medals at this year's edition of the Games, with Sadowski-Synott's duo combining with free-skier Nico Porteous' bronze in Friday's mens' freeski halfpipe.

Her attention now shifts to the world championships in Utah, followed by the US Open back in Colorado in March to see her through to the end of the competition season.