LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand – The world’s top alpine ski racing stars are set to take the slopes by storm this month at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games in one of the most competitive fields seen in New Zealand. Over 80 racers from 14 countries have already entered with the field size expected to double before racing starts on August 22, 2011.
Many Olympic medallists and World Cup Champions will take on the challenging slalom and giant slalom courses at Coronet Peak before travelling to Mt. Hutt in Canterbury for the high speed Super G event. Aksel Lund Svindal, the reigning Olympic men’s Super G champion heads the men’s field, joined by team mate and Olympic giant slalom silver medallist, Kjetil Jansrud. In the slalom, German Olympic athlete Felix Neureurther finished the 2011 World Cup season on 8th and is a strong contender for gold at the Winter Games.
Other nations competing in the three alpine disciplines include Great Britain, Australia, France, Korea, Monaco, Ireland, Russia, Slovakia and the USA. New Zealand Olympians Tim Cafe and Ben Griffin will be looking to impress on their home turf along with emerging talents Willis Feasey and Adam Barwood who had recent success at the Cardrona FIS races. And in the women’s, race, high ranking German athletes Lena Duerr and Veronika Staber will take on New Zealand’s top female athlete, Sarah Jarvis back from her successful European season that included a top eight finish in the French National Championships for giant slalom and a top 10 finish for slalom.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games takes place from 12- 28 August 2011 featuring 22 snow and ice sports over 38 events and involving 1,000 elite athletes from 50 nations. The alpine skiing program starts on Monday, August 22 at Coronet Peak with the men’s giant slalom, followed by the women’s giant slalom on Tuesday, August 23 and the slalom on August 24. The Super G takes place at Mt Hutt on Saturday, August 27. The 16-day long Games also include a full Downtown Sessions festival programme featuring films, live music and entertainment and rail jam extravaganzas in Queenstown, Lake Wanaka, Dunedin and Methven.
The on-snow competition will take place at Coronet Peak, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Park NZ, Snow Farm and Mt Hutt with the ice sports taking place at Naseby and Dunedin. For further information, visit www.wintergamesnz.com