Zoi Sadowski-Synnott won New Zealand's first Winter Olympic gold medal at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has become the first winter sport athlete to win the Lonsdale Cup, the New Zealand Olympic Committee's (NZOC) top accolade for annual sporting achievements.

The 21-year-old triumphed in the women's slopestyle event and took silver in the Big Air at Beijing 2022, adding to a bronze in the latter competition at Pyeongchang 2018.

In doing so, she became her country's first gold medallist at a Winter Olympics, a feat freestyle skier Nico Porteous went on to match in the men's halfpipe.

Sadowski-Synnott is also the reigning slopestyle world champion from March 2021 in Aspen.

NZOC chief executive Nicki Nicol said Sadowski-Synnott was a worthy winner of the Lonsdale Cup.

"Zoi is an incredible athlete who is at the forefront of global snowboarding and we are extremely proud of her achievements on the world’s stage," she commented.

"She is a leader in sport and inspires young New Zealanders, especially young women, to live healthier lives, and follow their sporting dreams.

"It’s fantastic to be presenting this award to a winter athlete for the first time ever.

"Congratulations Zoi, we wish you all the best for the upcoming season."

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, left, received the Lonsdale Cup at a ceremony held at Lake Wānaka ©NZOC
Zoi Sadowski-Synnott, left, received the Lonsdale Cup at a ceremony held at Lake Wānaka ©NZOC

Sadowski-Synnott expressed her delight at receiving the award at a ceremony held at Lake Wānaka.

"I'm stoked to be receiving this award," she said.

"Looking at some of the names on this trophy makes it pretty real just how much history there is behind this award and just how special this is.

"2022 has been a huge year for me and this is a great way to cap it off."

The Lonsdale Cup has been awarded annually since 1961 to the New Zealand athlete or team who made the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth sport.

It was won last year by canoeist Dame Lisa Carrington for the third time after she won three gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.