As an Olympic freeskier, Miguel Porteous knows all about the importance of balance.
It’s something the 19-year-old applies to life as well as sport, mixing a globetrotting sporting existence with his studies towards SIT2LRN’s New Zealand Diploma in Photography.
“Photography has always been a hobby of mine and I take my cameras everywhere on my travels,” Miguel said.
“The New Zealand Diploma in Photography allowed me to keep doing what I was already doing and learn even more.”
Miguel started skiing at the age of three, encouraged by his snow-loving parents.
Like many top-ranked skiers and snowboarders, his first lessons were at the Cardrona Alpine Resort, near Wanaka, where he looked to re-enact the awesome feats he grew up watching on a video that his grandmother gave him of a Red Bull Big Air event in Australia.
These days Miguel spends close to 200 days a year on snow.
“I am about to begin my last intake studying the New Zealand Diploma in Photography and have really enjoyed my time with SIT2LRN,” he said.
“With a busy schedule skiing and training, I finished school not knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I decided that if I was going to study while still putting my 100 per cent into skiing, it needed to be something that I really enjoyed doing.”
With his studies progressing well, the results are coming for Miguel on the slopes as well.
He achieved a career-best result when he finished second in the superpipe at the X Games in early 2017 – even with his arm in a cast due to a broken wrist.
The following year he was selected in the New Zealand team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he finished 17th in the halfpipe, and he claimed his first World Cup medal in December last year, winning silver at Copper Mountain.
If all that wasn’t enough, Miguel is also a keen surfer and skater and is training to be a pilot.
Family is important to Miguel, whose younger brother Nico is also one of New Zealand’s top-ranked skiers, our second-youngest ever Winter Olympian and a bronze medalist in the halfpipe in Pyeongchang.
According to Miguel’s Snowsport NZ profile, family dinners are often conducted via Skype so that his parents can catch up on the latest happenings.
At the moment, Miguel is looking forward to recovering from an injury setback and continuing the development he showed last year.
“I am currently in Mammoth Lakes, California, getting back on snow after a knee injury at a World Cup in China during the end of 2018,” he said.
“I plan on training hard the next few months and getting ready for the World Cup on the home court at Cardona Alpine Resort this coming August.
“However, even after a hard day of training I find I always have the motivation to go out and take that photo of the Austrian Alps or edit a photo on Photoshop.”
You can expect to hear a lot more about the Wanaka native as his career, on the slopes and off it, develops.