Snow sports athletes have absolutely dominated the 60th ISPS Handa Halberg Awards held in Auckland last night. Seven of the finalists were snow sports athletes and coaches and we were anticipating a big night for snow sports - we weren’t wrong!
It was snow sports most successful night at the Halberg Awards in history, with four award winners and also taking out the Supreme Award!
The night started strong with 17 year old Gustav Legnavsky winning the first category of the night, the Sky Sport Emerging Talent. Gustav is the current Freeski Halfpipe Junior World Champion and was the youngest member of the NZ Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Team.
Gustav wasn’t here to receive his award in person, but he had sent an acceptance video that was fittingly recorded from the bottom of the LAAX halfpipe where he is preparing for the upcoming Park & Pipe World Championships .
The next category of the evening was the Buddle Findlay Coach of the Year. Snow Sports NZ had two amazing coaches up for this award, Tommy Pyatt (Freeski) and Sean Thompson (Snowboarding). It was always going to be a big ask up against Black Ferns coach Wayne Smith, who deservingly won Coach of the Year.
The hotly contested High Performance Sport New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year was up next, with Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in the running. Although she was up against some of the greats, Zoi was crowned sportswoman of the year!
Zoi has had an incredible 12 months, including making history at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, winning New Zealand’s first ever Winter Olympic gold medal, backing it up with a silver medal just days later. She also claimed two gold medals at the 2022 Aspen X Games in both slopestyle and big air, amongst other achievements within the awards period.
Nico Porteous took out the ISPS Handa Sportsman of the Year in an incredibly strong group of finalists. Nico backed up Zoi’s Olympic Gold medal with one of his own in Freeski Halfpipe at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games and also won gold at the 2022 X Games Freeski SuperPipe.
Snow sports had two finalists in the ISPS Handa Para Athlete of the Year; Beijing 2022 Paralympic double bronze medalist Adam Hall and Beijing 2022 Paralympic gold and silver medalist Corey Peters. Corey took out the title, a very well deserved accolade for the sit skier who put down a blistering run in Beijing to win the Downhill.
The Supreme Halberg Award winner is selected by the Voting Academy from the winners of the Sportswoman, Sportsman, Para Athlete/Team and Team Categories.
With snow sports athletes holding three off the four titles eligible for the Supreme Award, we were absolutely thrilled to see Zoi Sadowski-Synnott crowned Supreme - an incredible achievement from an equally incredible athlete and person.
This is only the second time that a snow sports athlete has won this prestigious award, the first and last time was Annelise Coberger in 1992.
Snow Sports NZ couldn’t be more proud of all our finalists tonight. Their hard work, dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence has been recognised and rewarded at the highest level here in New Zealand.
Thank you to each and every person who plays a part in ensuring snow sports athletes and support staff have the tools and support required to be the best in the country, if not the world. It certainly takes a village and we are exceptionally proud of ours.
10 months ago