Snowboarder’s Games surprise


High-flying teenage snowboarder Tiarn Collins is set to compete in the Youth Olympic Winter Games.

The Queenstown 16-year-old was named in the New Zealand team last Friday.

He’ll fly direct from winter training with the team in Colorado, USA, to Lillehammer, Norway, next month. Collins says: “I’m super-stoked to be a part of the NZ team.

“I’ve always wanted to represent NZ and the Youth Olympics is my first real chance to do so.”

Collins received an email from Snow Sports NZ.

“Straight away I called my parents, who’d actually seen the email before me and didn’t tell me. So it was a big surprise.”

The youngster won the Continental Cup early in the NZ season, riding strongly in the slopestyle. He’s predominantly a slopestyler snowboarder but at the Games he’ll also compete in halfpipe.

“I’ve been working on my pipe a lot more than I usually would leading into the Games - and slopestyle too.’

Collins learnt to snowboard at Coronet Peak as an eight-year-old.

But after his first year, he switched to Cardrona where he’s been riding ever since.

He’s spent three seasons in Colorado with the NZ team.