Beijing Winter Olympics: Groundbreaking Kiwi success just the start for New Zealand snow sports

The curtain may have come down on New Zealand's most successful Winter Olympics but for Snow Sports New Zealand the hard work is only just beginning. 

With a raft of young talent making its way through the ranks, officials believe the gold medal count will rise exponentially in four years' time.   

Rounding out a remarkable Winter Games for New Zealand, flag bearer and men's freeski halfpipe champion Nico Porteous waved goodbye to a campaign that will forever hold a special place in our sporting history.

"They're such an amazing group of young humans I have no doubt they've inspired the next generation," says Martin Toomey, chief executive of NZ Winter Games.

Two humble kids from small-town Wānaka, Porteous and Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, stomped their mark on the world stage and landed New Zealand atop the Olympic podium for the first time.

"Showing the world that this place down the bottom of the world we can play with the best out there," former NZ Olympian Jossi Wells says. 

"As someone who spent time in the start game before, I couldn't be prouder of where we've come."

And there's no question where snow sports are going?

"Success breeds success," adds Toomey. 

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott celebrates.
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott celebrates. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"And when you look back to Sochi and Pyeongchang, and Nico and Zoi with their first medals and now three medals of much stronger colours. 

"The whole pipeline has started and I have no doubt, come Milan in 2026, there'll be more Kiwis on the podium."

Snow Sports NZ says more money would help pave the way.

"But a successful olympic campaign can't hurt in terms of the funding." 

To ensure our athletes continue soaring above the rest in years to come. 

"All it takes is one lift ride up Cardrona, and you can see the depth of the talent pool," adds Wells. 

"The sport's in a great place."

As for Porteous' next destination?

"I won't be back in New Zealand until July," the gold medallist tells Newshub. 

"I am on top of the world right now, and I want to take the opportunity to experience life and travelling and have an OE in a way."

Time off and time to travel the world for this trailblazing Kiwi Olympic champion.