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'Surreal': Queenstown Winter Olympian Tiarn Collins pictured at home this week with his FIS Snowboard Crystal Globe - Collins last month became the first Kiwi in history to win it

By LUCY WORMALD

Back on home turf in Queenstown, snowboarder Tiarn Collins is processing an avalanche of achievements from his best season so far.

Last month, Collins, 22, glided into New Zealand snow sport history, becoming the first Kiwi to win the FIS Snowboard Crystal Globe — a victory marking him as the overall winner of the discipline in the World Cup circuit.

The Globe came on the back of a long season of ‘‘just going for it’’ which saw Collins claim bronze in the United States at the Mammoth Mountain Slopestyle World Cup, compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics, and secure a slopestyle World Cup victory in the
Czech Republic.

‘‘It feels a little bit surreal … I’ve put a lot of effort into it and I’ve really wanted to do well so for it to actually pay off … that always feels pretty weird when it happens, but it’s definitely a good feeling,’’ he says.

Consistently making slopestyle finals throughout the season, Collins’ lead-in to the Olympics was plagued by Covid, and despite falling shy of his desired performances at the Games, he launched into the Czech Republic event with a new-found hunger to
compete.

 

‘‘That event was really cool because it was the first event post-Games so I had this new kind of fire in me, and all the coaches and the crew had gone home because they had just been with us for so long working towards the Games, they needed some time off and they deserved it.

‘‘So I had my dad come over and he was my support crew … and I just said, ‘film me doing this’, and [I] just kind of did my thing with him there.

‘‘Then to get a win while he was there, it was the coolest — one of the coolest moments of my life.’’

It wasn’t until after that event, when an organiser told Collins he was ‘‘looking pretty good for the overall’’, that sights were set on taking home the Crystal Globe.

‘‘That’s when it really popped into my head and I really wanted to get it … ’’

King of the slopes: Tiarn Collins celebrates his win of the prestigious FIS Snowboard Crystal Globe with his dog, Popcorn

Although placing seventh in the final World Cup of the season, held in Switzerland, Collins had previously secured enough points to claim the Crystal Globe at the event.

And despite the momentous wins, Collins’ favourite moment of the season was at an event just after taking out the trophy.

‘‘It was this kind of small community event … like a park jam, and I managed to get second there.

‘‘So that was really cool, [I] got to snowboard next to some my favourite riders and some of the leaders in different areas of snow boarding.’’

Now back in Queenstown, Collins says he’s taking time to hang out, skate, and catch up with friends.

‘‘What’s next is I’m probably going to go back [overseas] for some camp somewhere and ride some spring — we’ve been in the negatives all year so I’m pretty keen to ride in some sun.’’

But he’ll be back soon.

‘‘I’m pretty excited for this New Zealand season … it’s gonna be a fun one.’’

lucy.wormald@scene.co.nz