It’s been an historic day for New Zealand at the Winter Youth Olympic Games with two Central Otago freeski athletes winning gold and silver in the halfpipe.
Lake Hāwea’s Luke Harrold was the standout performer to take gold, with Wānaka’s Fin Melville Ives just behind in silver, on a bluebird day at Welli Helli Ski Resort in South Korea.
15-year-old Harrold was incredibly impressive, dropping two switch ally-oop double cork 900s as well as a double cork 1260, to score a huge 94.25-point run first up in the finals. 17-year-old Melville Ives answered with a three double run which included a right double 12, left double 12, and an ally-oop double flat 900 to score 92.50. Those scores remained the two highest for the competition, securing the top two podium spots for New Zealand.
It’s the first time New Zealand has ever won an individual gold medal at any edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games, and the first time there has ever been two New Zealanders on the same podium at any form of Winter Olympic Games.
“It feels pretty unreal right now, it’s been an amazing day,” said Harrold.
“You only come here once and to come away with the gold is so great. I’ve been working really hard so I’m really happy.”
Melville Ives says it was special to share the podium with his teammate.
“It was so cool to be up there with Luke. Today’s been a dream, to have fun and get to go on the podium with your teammate is so sick.”
Switzerland’s Alan Bornet took bronze. New Zealand’s Liam Richards (Auckland) also made the final, finishing seventh.
Snow Sport New Zealand Coach Brad Prosser says the medallists have a big future ahead of them.
“These guys are the future, there’s big things coming soon,” said Prosser.
“They both have the drive and the potential. Watching them work over the past few weeks and months has been amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Prosser.
The results take New Zealand’s medal tally at the Games to seven medals all up; 1x gold, 2x silver, and 4x bronze. The Team has one more day of competition, with Snowboard Halfpipe tomorrow (February 1st).
21 days ago