Snow sports: Zoi Sadowski-Synnott hoping first win of 2023 sets platform for upcoming X Games

Olympic gold medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott's first win of the year couldn't have come at a better time. 

On Monday, the 21-year-old won the Laax Open Slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland for the first time, overcoming a 24-hour delay and challenging conditions.

And while it's her first victory of 2023, she's already planning how she can claim an even bigger one.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott.
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott. Photo credit: Getty Images

"That was a huge one for me because I've never won in LAAX before, and it's a real prestigious event in snowboarding," she told Newshub.

But it was a victory that required all of the 21-year-old's experience - as weird as that sounds.

With the course running slow due to an overnight dump of snow, Sadowski-Synnott adjusted on the fly.

That meant opting mid-run for a backside 720 instead of her planned 1080 on the third jump, to help manage the speed. 

"If you were just slightly off your game, you would ruin the next jump and that would ruin your whole run," she continued.

Her score of 81.30 on her first run was enough to claim gold, albeit after a nervous wait.

Though the celebrations will be short-lived, Sadowski-Synnott is already turning focus to next week's X Games in Aspen, Colorado - the biggest event of the season.

What's more, she will arrive at the X Games as the gold medal holder in her two key events. 

"I want to try to do all the stuff that I've been working on in big air and slopestyle, and hopefully defend my titles."

That could see her pull out a switchback 1260 in the big air.

"It's a trick no one else has," she continued. "So hopefully that gives me a bit of an edge going into that one.

"And then for slopestyle, we haven't seen the course yet, so it could be anything."

And as Sadoswki-Synnott has already shown, anything really is possible.