Teenagers dominate Winter Olympics team
Half a dozen teenagers have been named in an initial nine-strong New Zealand selection to contest the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
24 October 2017
Six teenagers have been named in an initial nine-strong New Zealand team to contest next year's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
At 15, Nico Porteus is set to become New Zealand's youngest Winter Olympian, joining 18-year-old brother Miguel in the halfpipe freeski at the 2018 Games.
Joining the Porteous brothers will be teenagers Finn Bilous (freeski), Tiarn Collins (snowboard slopestyle and big air) and Rakai Tait (snowboard halfpipe).
World championship silver medallist Zoi Sadowski Synnott, 16, who'll contest snowboard slopestyle and snowboard big air, is the last of six teenagers named on Tuesday.
At 32, Janina Kuzma returns for her second Olympic Games, having finished fifth in the women's freeski halfpipe at Sochi 2014.
Carlos Garcia Knight, named in snowboard slopestyle and big air, and ski cross exponent Jamie Prebble complete the first selection announcement.
Further PyeongChang nominations and selections will take place between November and January.
They are expected to include additional freeski and snowboard athletes, as well as those who continue to track well in speedskating, skeleton and alpine ski.
Chef de mission Pete Wardell said the initial announcement highlighted the commitment and capability of the New Zealand athletes.
"It's a huge achievement ... the freeski and snowboard disciplines are incredibly challenging and these athletes take huge risks every time they compete," he said.
Snow Sports NZ high performance director Ashley Light said all the athletes named on Tuesday were tracking well to deliver strong performances in PyeongChang.
"The tricks and technical skiing the athletes selected have demonstrated rate amongst the best in the world," he said.
"As a programme, we have been focused on qualifying athletes early in the qualification window, to enable a complete focus on preparation for the Olympic features and race tracks."
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