Winter sports: Kiwi Olympic hope Cool Wakushima named for snowboarding success

Hard at work in the gym during her off-season, Cool Wakushima is building towards big plans.  

"I want to make myself a name in the snowboarding community," Wakushima tells Newshub.

That shouldn't be hard, because - yes you read right - her name is Cool Wakushima.

"Yeah, it's been a bit of a battle with her name, because I say 'cool' a lot," admits Snow Sport NZ high performance coach Mitch Brown.

Wakushima added: "Some people don't believe my name, until I show them my passport."

And that passport has been put to good use. Wakushima recently competed in her first Northern Hemisphere winter season, going move-for-move with her idols.

"It was actually mind blowing," she says. "It was like, 'oh my God, it's her, it's her'.

The highlight of the trip was finishing eighth at the slopestyle world champs in March.

Fellow Kiwi Zoi Sadowski Synott won gold and now, if Wakushima can qualify for next year's Beijing Winter Olympics, New Zealand will have two stars on the world stage.

"Zoi's definitely been at the forefront of leading the charge and she's done exceptional," Brown says. "But now to have Cool coming up as well, it's ideal."

Two medal hopes in slopestyle at Beijing would be a very 'Cool' thing indeed.

Watch the full story above.