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Mt Ruapehu Big Air Event Pays Tribute to Tom Campbell

Big Air event a huge success to pay tribute to kiwi icon

X Games and Olympic stars throw big tricks at Mt Ruapehu's Turoa

MT RUAPEHU 23 SEPTEMBER 2017: The biggest names in the New Zealand freestyle snow sports scene 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 saw NZ Winter Olympians and X Games medallists throw tricks off a huge 60ft+ jump at Turoa ski field. The event was judged by kiwi snow sports superstars Jossi Wells & Beau-James Wells and was MC’d by NZ Winter Olympian Byron Wells.

Turoa experienced over 4,400 guests on the ski area, which included a huge crowd to watch the athletes put on a show. Athletes included: X Games Medallist’s James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, Miguel Porteous, Jackson Wells and Red Bull athlete Nico Porteous.

Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager Matt McIvor says: “Tom brought the weather today. After fresh snow this week we had a nice window of clear weather and no wind for the athletes to throw tricks for the crowds.”

“We celebrated Tom’s life by throwing an event based on what he loved doing himself. Hitting big jumps and having fun. It was extremely special for Tom’s family and friends who travelled from near and far to attend.”

Athletes were jumping over Tom’s ashes and a snow groomer named ‘the Black Pearl’, driven by Turoa Grooming and Trails Manager Fred Campbell, Tom’s father.

The NZ Winter Olympians and professional athletes signed posters at the end of the day for the public. Hundreds of people gathered to meet some of NZ’s best prospects for the 2018 Winter Olympics in February next year.

About Tom Campbell:

Renowned as “Ohakune’s favourite son”, 27-year-old Tom Campbell was killed 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 a 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 field, Tom ventured south to Cardrona Ski Area in the Remarkables near Queenstown. He worked there for six years, becoming an icon in the ski fraternity for the jumps he built, particularly the 26-metre jump he built for the Jossi Wells invitational freeski competition in 2016, dubbed “the best in the world” by the international stars who competed at the event.

Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager Matt McIvor says, "Tom was unique in that he skied everything he built, “even the 85 to 100 foot big airs”. He was often the first to try his new creations to ensure they were riding superbly for other skiers and snowboarders.”

Matt says Tom’s death was felt around the world and the Big Air event offered those who knew him a chance to celebrate his life, and show their respect for the work he did, which he loved. Mt Ruapehu is aiming to make the Tom Campbell Memorial Big Air an annual event.


First places today were:

Mens Open Ski division - Luke Hughes

Mens Open Snowboard division – Leon Thompson

Male Under 16yrs Snowboard division – Noah Wotton


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