By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Queenstown’s three Winter Olympians may have got off to a rocky start, but are now focused on their second events in Beijing over the next few days.
Snowboard tyro Cool Wakushima, 19, who had a career-best fifth at the LAAX Open Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland last month, injured herself in practice last Friday.
In an Instagram post, Cool says she had a ‘‘pretty rough fall to my bum’’ and later found out she’d bruised her tailbone.
Determined to push through, she still lined up for the snowboard slopestyle on Saturday, but another fall during her first run meant she couldn’t drop into run two.
On Insta, she said she hoped to be better for Big Air, ‘‘and can’t wait to put the bib back on’’.
Fellow Queenstowner Tiarn Collins, 22, finished in 18th place in the men’s snowboard slopestyle qualifiers on Sunday, knocking him out of contention for the finals.
But he did top-score on the first feature during his first run, which he described, overall, as ‘‘a little messy’’.
In a social media post, Collins revealed he felt lucky to have been there at all, given he tested positive for Covid a week before leaving for China, ‘‘and spent a week chewing through Vitamin C tablets until I was negative’’.
One of the Kiwi team’s flag-bearers, Alice Robinson, 20, finished 22nd-equal in the women’s giant slalom on Monday, saying she battled ‘‘the whole way down’’, having struggled to find grip.
In a Facebook post, Robinson says she’s ‘‘very disappointed’’ about the result.
‘‘Unfortunately, went out of the start gate [on Monday] and the new and different snow conditions got the best of me, just couldn’t find any feeling or rhythm the whole way down, every turn felt like a battle.
‘‘However, I’m pretty fired up to have another chance in Super G on Friday, so focusing the energy there.’’
Robinson will be back on the slopes today from about 4pm New Zealand time, while Collins next competes in the Big Air on Monday, from about 6.30pm, and Cool’s in action again on Tuesday, also in the Big Air, going up against the flying Wānaka gold medallist, Zoi Sadowski-Synott.