More than 300 of the world’s best junior snow sports athletes will arrive in Lake Wanaka, New Zealand this week to compete in the inaugural FIS Snowboard & Freestyle Junior World Championships which run from Aug. 19-31, 2010.
As previously mentioned, the event will mark the first time a FIS World Championship has taken place in the Southern Hemisphere and the first time freeskiing and snowboarding have combined at the World Championship level.
In a tough break for New Zealand, AFP overall freeskiing champion, Jossi Wells, was favored to post strong finishes in multiple events but will unfortunately be sidelined due to a broken ankle. Wells’ absence will surely call upon Olympic snowboarder, Rebecca Sinclair and 36 other young New Zealand hopefuls to post a strong showing against the deep international field on their home turf.
Competition will be tough with athletes such as Fanny Smith of Switzerland who is ranked #5 in the world for ski cross and USA’s Hannah Haupt, also fifth in the world but for freeski halfpipe, confirmed.
The USA has sent a 40-strong team of athletes plus support staff while 33 Canadian athletes have also made the long journey to the southern snow. Other countries represented are: Sweden (4), Switzerland (23), Norway (15), Chile (1), Poland (3), Bulgaria (2), Netherlands (7), Czech Republic (11), Germany (11), Philippines (1), Japan (22), Belgium (6), Andorra (1), Russia (23), Austria (10), Great Britain (4), Slovakia (12), Australia (26), Ukraine (3), Greece (2), Italy (6), Korea (16), Finland (7), Spain (3).
A Parade of Nations through Wanaka town centre will launch the championships at 5:00 p.m. on Friday Aug. 20th, followed by a powhiri and official welcome by Dean Gosper of the Federation International de Ski (FIS) as well as Championships Patron Juliane Bray.
All the on-snow action in the 2010 FIS Freestyle and Snowboard Junior World Championships will take place from Aug. 21-31 at Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Park NZ, Lake Wanaka. Contest results can be tracked in real-time via live scoring at the event. For further information, visit www.juniorworldsnz.co.nz