Audi Quattro Winter Games - Entries Hit Top Gear
Entries hit TOP gear
I'm not usually one to be a name dropper but given what the caliber of this years entries means for the Games, please bear with me for just a moment.
As predicted being a pre-Olympic & Paralympic year, there is huge interest in the Games.
The Para-Snowboard World Cup Banked Slalom, new on the calendar at Treble Cone, has already attracted 26 entries from New Zealand (2), Great Britain (1), Japan (7), Korea (4) and the USA (12). We are expecting the Australian contingent to take us up to be between as many as 30 – 40 athletes.
Wanaka based para boarder Carl Murphy will fly the flag for New Zealand and says it’s a coup to have such a prestigious event in his own backyard which is attracting the world’s leading athletes in the discipline.
We are now just a couple of entries away having every FIS Crystal Globe winner, AFP World Champ and WSPL leader entered for the Freeski and Snowboard World Cups at Cardrona, with the likes of Jamie Anderson, Red Gerard, Chloe Kim, Marie Martinod and Aaron Blunk all locked and loaded.
And in terms of the North Face Frontier at the Remarkables, 8 Kiwis will feature in the 4* event along with a diverse international field, and a full field of 80 entries for the 2*.
The Chinese Connection
A ground breaking agreement signed between the Winter Games NZ Trust and the Chinese Ski Association last year is having a direct spin off for the 2017 Winter Games with a strong contingent of athletes and officials scheduled to converge on Wanaka for the event.
Almost 80 athletes along with management personnel - as many as 21 catering for the six freeski and snowboard teams alone – will provide 4186 bed nights for Wanaka which is quite phenomenal.
Some of the Chinese junior and development teams will take advantage of off season training during the Games while a delegation of five members from China’s Hebei Provincial Sport Administration will be observing our Games’ team on the job at Cardrona and the Snow Farm. Hebei is hosting the freeski and snowboard park and pipe events as well as the Nordic programme at the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
This is the third time we have had representatives from Winter Olympics teams shadow our management teams – previously from Sochi and Pyeongchang – which reinforces the reputation we have developed for staging a world-class international snow sports event.
Talking of world-class, the 2017 Winter Games NZ curling competition at Naseby is to all intents and purposes a warm up to Pyeongchang with six of the eight teams that will compete in the Olympics Curling Mixed Pairs also competing at our Winter Games. This is certainly going to provide exciting spectator action.
Spectators at home will also be well catered for with international television distribution for the Games already a step up from previous years – confirmed so far are Fox Sports-Australia, SBS-Korea, NBC Universal-United States, Rai TV-Italy and Estonia TV who will all screen live coverage of the four World Cup events at Cardrona. We anticipate further confirmations internationally before the Games start.