New Zealand’s Winter Olympics freeskiing champion Nico Porteous has revealed he will be out until January after knee surgery.
The 20-year-old from Wānaka won gold in the men’s halfpipe in China in February, but will now not be back on the slopes until next year.
“A month ago, I ruptured my ACL and have had surgery two weeks ago,’’ Porteous said in “a bit of a life update’’ video on his Instagram account.
“So it’s been a pretty quick process but definitely not what I was wanting to do to end off my season.”
Porteous also posted a photograph of his leg after surgery, with a caption: “Quick oil change. Much love.’’
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Porteous said it was the first time he had talked about his injury publicly, but he wanted to reassure followers “everything’s going well and we are on the up from here’’.
“I’m hoping to be skiing by the next northern hemisphere season, somewhere around January.’’
Porteous did not say where he was when he suffered the injury or where he is recuperating.
But he did indicate he was likely to take a lower profile on social media while he recovers.
“I’m not going to post any gym stuff, or post any rehab, it’s not something I really want to do.
“It’s injury, and injuries are a part of freestyle skiing, and that’s my personal thing to deal with.’’
Porteous became the first New Zealand male – and second Kiwi behind Wānaka snowboarder Zoi Zadowski-Synnott – to win a Winter Olympics gold medal.
The pair ended a 70-year wait for a Kiwi Winter Olympian to rise to the top step of the podium.
Porteous – a halfpipe bronze medallist at the 2016 Winter Olympics – is also the reigning world and X Games halfpipe champion.
He told reporters after winning Olympic gold that his 2022 season had been the ultimate dream.
“If you’d told me even four years ago that in the same year you’d win X Games and you’d win the Olympics I would not believe you.
“To be honest, I don’t think that would ever happen again. I’m definitely just going to cherish this.’’