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New Zealand Winter Games Planning Begins

MEDIA RELEASE FROM WINTER GAMES NZ

27 November 2007

New Zealand Winter Games Planning Begins

An interim board has been created to develop a proposal to host the inaugural New Zealand Winter Games in 2009.

The New Zealand Winter Games concept has the support of the New Zealand Olympic Committee and the National Olympic Committees of the Pacific Rim, including Canada, the United States, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico and Australia.

It is intended to provide elite winter athletes from Pacific Rim countries with unique off-season training and competition opportunities ahead of Vancouver 2010.

The interim board of Winter Games NZ comprises Vito Lo Iacono - Major Events New Zealand; Eion Edgar - President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Peter Cox – SPARC.

An initial feasibility study has been completed with favorable results and the interim board has contracted Arthur Klap as Winter Games NZ CEO.

Initial funding for the project has come from Major Events New Zealand with a grant of $500,000. Additional funding will be sought from corporate sponsorship and community trusts.

Eion Edgar Chairman of Winter Games NZ believes the New Zealand Winter Games will provide be beneficial New Zealand as a whole, as well as elite winter athletes.

”New Zealand can offer winter athletes with superb facilities and conditions during the European summer and we hope the event will become a regular event on Winter Sport Calendar,” he said. “While we can benefit athletes, we believe the event will establish New Zealand as a highly credible winter sports destination bringing significant sporting, social and economic benefits.

New Zealand Olympic Committee Secretary General Barry Maister is delighted the NZOC can lend its support to the New Zealand Winter Games. “The proposed Winter Games will provide our growing winter sports with outstanding opportunities compete against some of the best Winter athletes in the world just ahead of the Winter Olympic Games in 2010.”

With feasibility work complete, Winter Games NZ will now appoint a permanent board and establish a charitable trust to manage the development and hosting of the games.


ENDS

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