Queenstown snowboarder Tiarn Collins says he’s inspired to become the best he can after a memorable Youth Winter Olympic Games.
Collins, 16, finished fourth in the slopestyle and fifth in the halfpipe at the Games in Lillehammer, Norway, last week.
“I’m super-happy with how I went,” he says.
“Getting fourth place and being so close to a medal only makes me motivated to do even better.”
Collins landed a succession of monster tricks in the slopestyle.
“My second run was super nerve-wracking.
“I hadn’t landed my first run which meant there was only one more chance, which put of lot of pressure on me.”
Collins hit a frontside 270 on to the first rail, then a backside boardslide 270 out on to the second.
On the mid-course jumps, he did a backside 900 mute grab then a Cab 900 tail grab.
And on the last two features, he backflipped off the cannon rail then landed a frontside 1080 on the final jump.
“I was so relieved and stoked after landing the last jump, I couldn’t have been happier.”
The run scored 86.25 - a point-and-a-half off bronze.
Earlier in the week, he’d placed fifth in his less favoured event of halfpipe.
“My second hit I did a frontside 1080 which I actually had never landed in my life.
“So not only was I super stoked to learn that trick, I just happened to land in a comp run at the Olympics.
“Getting fifth was crazy - I wasn’t expecting too much.”
Collins began the run with a big straight air method grab. After the 1080, he hit a Haakon flip nose grab, a crippler, a back 540, before landing a clean frontside 900.
Collins returns to Colorado, USA, with the NZ team for the end of the northern hemisphere season before he’s back in Queenstown mid-April, facing a mountain of school work.
“I’d like to thank DC Shoes, SITE Trampoline and Quest Queenstown for all the support and help leading up to the Games - and my family for being there cheering me on.
“It was an amazing experience.”