Snow legends pay tribute to Kiwi icon at Big Air Event
Snow legends pay tribute to Kiwi icon at Big Air
X Games and Olympic stars head to Mt Ruapehu's Turoa
MT RUAPEHU 19 SEPTEMBER 2017: Some of the biggest names in the New Zealand freestyle snow sports scene will hit Mt Ruapehu on Saturday September 23 in memory of one of this country’s freeski legends.
The inaugural Tom Campbell Memorial Big Air event will see NZ Winter Olympians and X Games medallists put on a display for the crowds on a huge jump at Turoa ski area. Athletes attending include: Jossi Wells, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, Miguel Porteous and Jackson Wells, with Red Bull athlete Nico Porteous and Winter Olympian’s Byron & Beau-James Wells also expected.
Renowned as “Ohakune’s favourite son”, 27-year-old Tom Campbell tragically passed away in a car accident in June this year. Tom grew up in the central North Island town at the foot of Mt Ruapehu and following in the footsteps of his father Fred, who is Turoa’s current Trails and Grooming Manager, he showed passion and exceptional talent for driving snow groomers on the mountain from an early age.
After making an invaluable contribution toward the creation of terrain parks at Turoa ski area, Tom ventured south to Cardrona Alpine Resort near Wanaka. He worked there for around six years, becoming an icon in the ski fraternity for the jumps he built, particularly the 26-metre long jump for the Jossi Wells Invitational Freeski and Snowboard Competition in 2016. The jump was dubbed “the best in the world” by the international stars who competed at the event.
Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager Matt McIvor says, "Tom was such a rockstar and truly unique in the industry because he skied everything he built, including the biggest jumps in New Zealand. He was often the first to try his masterpieces to ensure they were riding nicely for others. He was a hero to many of us and will be dearly missed."
Matt says Tom’s death was felt around the world and the Big Air event will offer those who knew him a chance to celebrate his life, and show their respect for the contributions he made, which were his passion. Mt Ruapehu is aiming to make the Tom Campbell Memorial Big Air an annual event.
Event categories include Under 16 and Open, Snowboard and Ski, with an exhibition of jumping from invited pro athletes once the competition section is complete.