Boarder closes in Olympic dream

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Hotshot teen snowboarder Tiarn Collins is confident he’ll make next year’s Winter Olympics.

And so the Queenstowner should be.

He’s currently ranked sixth in the Snowboard World Cup series for slopestyle.

As long as the 17-year-old stays in the top 40 he’ll qualify for both the big air and slopestyle events.

Then it’s up to the New Zealand selectors.

Tiarn says he’s confident and keen to make it happen.

“It would mean everything, I guess. I’d love to represent NZ at the Olympics – it’s a huge goal of mine.”

He’s just coming off the back of a minor ankle sprain but has been hitting the slopes hard throughout NZ’s winter.

Before now he was on the road in the northern hemisphere – chasing competitions across nine different countries.

Tiarn spends most of his time at Cardrona Alpine Resort while he’s home.

He reckons it’s got the best park and training facilities.

Occasionally he’ll pop up The Remarks for a bit of variety.

He trains most days either up the mountain, at Frankton’s Site Trampoline or in the gym.

“I don’t really get sick of it – it’s my passion, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little kid.

“It’s my dream to go up and snowboard every day,” he says. “I just love it.”

Tiarn is currently juggling his Olympic dream and his final year of home school.

His last qualifying competition in NZ, to help him rack up more Olympic points, is next month’s Winter Games NZ – on his home turf of Cardrona.

Come December he’ll head back overseas to start “really preparing”. He has two more qualifying events to compete in.

The PyeongChang Winter Olympics are held in South Korea next February.

mandy.cooper@scene.co.nz