A young Queenstown skier is over the moon after a surprise podium finish earned her a spot at next year’s Youth Olympic Winter Games.
Fourteen-year-old Ruby And-rews recently claimed a bronze medal in halfpipe at the FIS Junior World Championships in Leysin, Switzerland.
It’s been a rapid rise for the talented teen, who finished 13th in the same event at her home mountain, Cardrona, last year.
She admits she was anxious before tackling the course.
“I was feeling pretty nervous, there were so many girls who were skiing so well.”
Ruby, who is a member of Snow Sports NZ’s national devel-opment squad, was also one of the youngest in the field.
But she pulled off an upset, taking out third place.
“My first run went really well, I landed all my tricks so decided I would put in a new trick, a 720, that I had never landed before. I’m so stoked.”
Now she’s got a new goal in sight – the 2020 Youth Olympics, which will also be held in Switzerland.
“I’m so excited, it’s really cool.
“It definitely locks it in, that I’ve got to stick with it.”
Ruby started skiing at the ripe old age of three-and-a-half, falling in love with the sport after learning on Canterbury’s Mt Hutt.
She switched to snowboarding at age seven for a few years, before returning to her skiing roots.
She competed in her first junior world champs at Cardrona last year, and says it was “quite cool” that it was at her home mountain.
“It made me feel quite comfortable.”