Olympic debut delayed for Robinson

 

New Zealand’s youngest Winter Olympian, 16 year old Alice Robinson, will have to wait a little longer to make her Olympic debut.

High winds have forced the postponement of the women’s giant slalom, which Robinson is due to compete in today.

There’s no word yet on what day the event will be rescheduled for.

Alice Robinson’s Winter Olympics berth was so unlikely even she didn’t have PyeongChang on her radar at the start of the season.

The junior star only gained senior eligibility in mid-2017, punctuating her rookie season with giant slalom wins in the second tier North American Cup and FIS division.

Robinson, who will also compete in the slalom in PyeongChang, said her Olympic qualification came as a surprise.

“It wasn’t really a big goal for this season,” she said.

“In the last few months, some of the results made a bit more realistic.”

The ranking points Robinson accrued were the most by any New Zealander in their first year of senior international competition.

Too young to remember New Zealand’s last Winter Games medal won in 1992 by fellow alpine skier Annelise Coberger, she is an outsider for a medal in PyeongChang.

But Robinson has vowed not to let herself be overawed by the occasion.

“The Olympics is probably a little different so it’s probably a little bit overwhelming,” Robinson said.

“But I think I can keep it all pretty calm for the Games and just try and focus on the task without being too distracted.”

Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, gold medalist in 2010 and third in 2014, leads the World Cup standings and is a strong gold medal contender.

The event starts at 2.15pm.

Switzerland, the United States and Germany have won the gold medal more than once but Italy’s Deborah Compagnoni is the only individual skier to have won it twice (1994 and 1998).

Despite never having won gold, Austria has nine medals in the giant slalom.

Snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnot is in action today in the women’s snowboard slopestyle at the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang.

At only 16-years-old, Sadowski-Synnot is the youngest woman to win gold in snowboard slopestyle at a world cup and will be looking to continue last year’s winning momentum when she contests the final which begins at 2pm.

A family Christmas holiday in Whistler is Zoi’s earliest memory of snow and probably where her love of sliding began.

“I was about four and it was the coolest thing ever, we went sledding down the road!” she remembers.

American Jamie Anderson is favoured to defend the title she won four years ago in Sochi.

Scoring wise 60% of each rider’s score will be based on the individual tricks they do on each of the course’s six sections. The remaining 40 per cent is based on overall impression.

All six sections are weighted equally (10% of the rider’s total score), meaning that executing technical tricks on the course’s rail sections are just as important as landing a big double cork on one of the jumps.

-RNZ/AAP

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