Snowboarder Zoi Sadowski-Synnott will be aiming to win New Zealand's first Winter Olympic gold medal at Beijing 2022 after being named in the squad of 15 ©Getty Images

Olympic bronze medallists and reigning world champions Zoi Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous have been named as part of New Zealand’s 15-member squad for Beijing 2022.

Snowboarder freestyle skier Sadowski-Synnott and Nico Porteous ended New Zealand’s 26-year wait for a medal at the Games when they finished third in the women’s big air and men’s halfpipe respectively at Pyeonchang 2018.

Since then, Sadowski-Synnott has claimed two world titles in slopestyle, while Porteous clinched halfpipe gold at last year’s World Championships.

They will now be New Zealand’s biggest medal hopes going into Beijing 2022 where New Zealand’s Chef de Mission Marty Toomey expects his team to deliver success.

"We saw the amazing impact the Winter Olympic Games can have on our nation when Nico and Zoi won our first medals in 26-years at the last edition of the Games," said Toomey.

"We’re looking forward to again creating history and giving New Zealanders a reason to celebrate over the next few weeks."

New Zealand’s squad is made up of nine men and six women who are set to compete across freestyle skiing, snowboarding, Alpine skiing, biathlon and speed skating.

The youngest member is 16-year-old Gustav Legnavsky, one of four teenagers in the team along with fellow freestyle skier Ben Barclay, snowboarder Cool Wakushima and biathlete Campbell Wright.

Speed skater Peter Michael is the oldest athlete in the team at the age of 32, while freestyle skiers Chloe McMillan, Marqaux Hackett, Ben Harrington, Finn Bilous and Anja Barugh, snowboarder Tiarn Collins and Alpine skier Alice Robinson complete the team.

Seven of the athletes are first time Olympians with the others all returning from Pyeongchang 2018.

"These athletes have demonstrated a huge amount of skill and determination to be selected to the New Zealand team for Beijing," said Toomey.

"Qualifying for the Winter Olympic Games is a mammoth task at the best of times, to qualify during the pandemic has been even more challenging and we are thrilled that these fifteen athletes will be representing our nation in a just over a week in Beijing."

Freestyle skier Gustav Legnavsky is the youngest member of New Zealand's team for Beijing 2022 at the age of 16 ©Getty Images
Freestyle skier Gustav Legnavsky is the youngest member of New Zealand's team for Beijing 2022 at the age of 16 ©Getty Images

Toomey, chief executive of Winter Games NZ, landed the Chinese capital last week before New Zealand’s athletes started arriving from Saturday (January 29).

"We’re working really hard to ensure that the athletes and wider team have everything they need to perform to their peak," she said.

"Our job is to get the athletes to the Games and provide an environment which lets them focus on doing what they do best, when we do that, we know good results will follow, whether that’s a podium or a personal best."

Beijing 2022 has implemented a "closed-loop management system", which separates Games participants from the local populations.

Once inside the closed loop, athletes will be required to undergo daily testing for COVID-19 as part of a series of strict countermeasures.

"Our priority is the health and safety of our athletes, and the New Zealand team will be stringently following all countermeasures to ensure a safe and successful Winter Olympic Games," said Toomey.

"We’ve been working with athletes and their sports to help them understand all the requirements and are comfortable with what we’ve seen on the ground so far."

There will be no New Zealand Government officials here for the Games after joining the United States-led diplomatic boycott.

New Zealand has won three medals since making its Winter Olympic Games debut at Oslo 1952, two of them at Pyeongchang 2018. 

But they are still seeking their first gold medal at the Winter Olympics.