The kids are alright: New Zealand ends Olympic drought

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The kids are alright: New Zealand ends Olympic drought

The kids are alright: New Zealand ends Olympic drought

Pyeongchang (South Korea) (AFP) - After going 26 years without a Winter Olympics medal, rugby-mad New Zealand toasted a pair of fresh-faced schoolchildren on Thursday as they captured bronze in snowboard and freestyle skiing.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous, both 16, reached the podium to emulate countrywoman Annelise Coberger, who skied her way to a silver medal in slalom in 1992 -- well before they were born.

At 16 years and 353 days, Sadowski-Synnott became New Zealand's youngest Olympic medallist after finishing third behind Austria's Anna Gasser and American Jamie Anderson in Friday's inaugural snowboard Big Air competition.

The previous record was held by swimmer Danyon Loader, who won a silver medal as a 17-year-old at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

"It really hasn't sunk in," said Sadowski-Synnott, who had to be told to wait at the bottom of the course after her third run.

"I was sitting down the bottom after my third run and they were like 'you have to wait because you're in third' and I was like okay," added the teen.

"I'll just chill here and I'll probably have to leave soon because there were some riders who were some pretty heavy hitters."

But with social media in New Zealand already fritzing out over Sadowski-Synnott's feat, along came Porteous to break the age record again in the men's freestyle ski halfpipe a little over an hour later.

After watching team-mate Byron Wells tumble out, Porteous vomited as the nerves got to him. But a superb run put the teenager right in the thick of it.

American David Wise won the gold with a clutch final run from countryman Alex Ferreira, but Porteous claimed bronze at 16 years and 91 days -- and broke the internet back home all over again.

"I had nothing left," said Porteous, after virtually aborting his final run despite the opportunity to retake the lead.

"That was me. That was all I had left in the bag. I hope people didn't see that as me being cocky because I really had nothing left."

"That was the best run I've ever done in my life," he added. "For me to do the two best runs of my life back to back, that's insane."