The youngest competitors and only all-girl team, Auckland friends Flora and Jasmine, both 21, say they shouldn’t be underestimated. The tertiary students met in high school while dressed as their favourite pop stars, but they didn’t hit it off straight away. However, they now finish each other’s sentences and share a passion for helping their community.
What were your first impressions of one another?
Flora: I thought Jaz was a bit too cool and we just didn’t really make an effort trying to get to know each other until our first year at high school.
Jasmine: Flora was dressed as Beyoncé and I was Brooke Fraser at a birthday party. Flora wore bell-bottom jeans and I was in a gold dress with gold string tied around my feet, substituting as shoes. Looking back now, we were both as tragic as each other, so it makes sense we’re friends.
How do you cope with stress?
Flora: I quietly try to do what I can so that the pressure will go away. This is definitely put into practice when I’m with Jaz! She will freak out and my immediate response is to just shut down. Not all that helpful!
Jasmine: Depending on the situation, I either panic or think strategically and work quickly. When I panic, my voice goes really high and I talk really quickly, but I think our friendship is too strong to break over something silly.
What is the most exotic destination you’ve visited?
Flora: A rundown village in Hainan, China, where they served rabbit. China is one of my best and worst travel experiences. Despite being Chinese, the culture and environment is so different.
Jasmine: Bali. It has been a few years, but I still have vivid memories of families squashed on one scooter, people on the streets and children trying to barter to get money. It breaks my heart a little bit now that I’m older and have a better understanding.