Young gun gets nation’s first medal

By 07/02/2022News

Article by Melissa Woods courtesy of The West Australian.

Tess Coady.

Australian snowboarder Tess Coady took home the nation’s first medal of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, claiming bronze in the women’s slopestyle as her close friend Zoi Sadowski-Synnott became the first New Zealander to top the podium at a Winter Games.

Coady, competing at her first Games, recorded her best score of 84.15 points in the third and final run of Sunday’s final. It was the 16th medal won by Australia at a Winter Olympics and the fifth in snowboarding.

The 21-year-old, pictured, was selected to make her Olympic debut four years ago in PyeongChang, but was unable to compete after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament in a practice run. The heartbreaking injury cost her a chance of being the youngest Australian at those Games.

“Making it to a final is always a win in my books and last night I was chatting to a friend and he said to me that I have finally earned my ticket to freedom with the last four years,” Coady told the Seven Network.

“I really took that mentality today. I was just going to send it, nothing to lose. I came back and got my redemption yesterday and today I just wanted to have the best time, enjoy it the most.”

She qualified eighth for the 12-woman final but threw down the gauntlet on the first of her three runs when she posted an imposing score of 82.69 points.

She eclipsed that in her third run — securing the bronze.

But she was made to endure a gut-wrenching wait during the final runs as she watched on as a succession of the world’s best tried and failed to beat her score.

Sydney-born Sadowski-Synnott won gold with a brilliant final run which earned 92.88 points and American Julia Marino (87.68) pocketed the silver. Coady joins Torah Bright as the only Australian women to win Olympic medals in snowboarding.