Medal win­ner hangs out for steak and pep­per pie

The Timaru Herald - - SPORT - DAVID LONG

Olympic medal­ist Nico Por­te­ous didn’t have to wait long for his wish to be granted once back in New Zealand on Tues­day.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing at Auck­land Air­port and be­ing greeted with a haka, with the rest of the New Zealand team, in­clud­ing fel­low bronze medal­ist, Zoi Sad­owskiSyn­nott, Por­te­ous told the large throng of as­sem­bled me­dia that one of the first things he wanted to do was have a pie.

‘‘I’m go­ing to have a steak and pep­per pie,’’ Por­te­ous beamed, with the large medal dan­gling from his neck.

‘‘I haven’t had a pie in at least a month, so I’m pretty des­per­ate.’’

Well within a cou­ple of min­utes of say­ing that, some­one had brought him one and he waste no time in get­ting stuck in.

Get­ting free pies maybe some­thing out of the or­di­nary, but for the next while at least, the pair of 16-year-olds are go­ing to have to get used to be­ing in the spot­light as the coun­try cel­e­brates its first suc­cess at the Win­ter Olympics in 26 years.

Since their dou­ble suc­cess last Thurs­day, it’s been non­stop for Sad­owski-Syn­nott and Por­te­ous, who won his medal in the half pipe, said it still hasn’t sunk in that he’s an Olympic medal­ist.

‘‘It’s not go­ing to sink in for at least a month, but I’m go­ing to keep be­ing my­self and con­tinue to work hard, just keep ski­ing,’’ Por­te­ous said.

‘‘I’m a bit con­fused over which time zone I’m in now, I only had about an hour of sleep on the plane.’’

Por­te­ous plans to head to Europe soon for some so­cial ski­ing, but Sad­owski-Syn­nott says she’s look­ing to get back to some nor­mal­ity and re­turn to school in Wanaka.

And it was at school six years ago where Sad­owski-Syn­nott, who won her medal in the big air made a state­ment that Olympic glory was her goal.

‘‘I have al­ways wanted to com­pete at the Olympics,’’ she said.

‘‘When I was 10 we had this thing at school where you had to write ev­ery­thing about you and mine had on it Olympics rings and a snow­board.

‘‘So it’s al­ways been there, but I didn’t ex­pect it to be at the 2018 Olympics.’’

Sad­owski-Syn­nott and Por­te­ous may com­pete in dif­fer­ent events, but they will al­ways be linked by their suc­cess in PyeongChang and Por­te­ous ad­mits there will be a bond between them.

‘‘We’ll al­ways look back at the day we walked back into Auck­land Air­port, both with New Zealand flags around our shoul­ders and medals around our necks,’’ he said.

‘‘This will be a day that will stay with us for a long time.’’

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

New Zealand’s Win­ter Olympics team, led by bronze medal win­ners Nico Por­te­ous and Zoi Sad­owski-Synott ar­rived back in Auck­land yes­ter­day.

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