New Zealand should be excited for the the professional winter sports games coming to their mountains next year. Winter Games NZ 2013 is set to be the largest and most prestigious international snow sports event held in New Zealand with confirmation the Games will host at least five World Cups. Never before have so many World Cups been staged in a single event outside the Winter Olympics. With the event’s status as a qualifier for the Winter Olympics six months later and world rankings, it will attract the world’s best athletes.
At the Winter Games NZ 2013 launch in Auckland today, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced the government’s on-going support of the event, identifying the trade and tourism benefits the event has achieved over the past years and moving forward. With full backing from Sport New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, Joyce confirmed New Zealand Major Events will invest $1 million for the 2013 Games. A significant partnership with MediaWorks will see action from the Games broadcast on TV3 and extensive coverage across MediaWorks Radio.
Winter Games chairman Sir Eion Edgar believes the 2013 Games will again raise the bar for event excellence, securing five World Cups gives a clear message as to how highly regarded it is as a snow sports destination.“The Winter Games NZ is a perfect legacy event for New Zealand. We own it, we shape it and we keep all the commercial rights,” he said. “It is an event with international standing that will make a major social and economic contribution to the benefit of all New Zealanders.”
Amongst the 1,000 elite international athletes competing will be the highest ranked skiers and riders including Olympic and past World Cup gold medallists. At least 30 competitors at Winter Games NZ 2013 will go on to win medals at the Winter Olympics 2014. This will provide a strong competitive platform for our home grown New Zealand athletes.
Games chief executive Arthur Klap is excited by the prospect of New Zealand hosting such a world leading event. “The 2013 Winter Games will be a major step up from the previous two Winter Games, he said. “It is a bold move to go with five FIS World Cups and we are now waiting whether our two alpine ski racing events for the adaptive (disabled) skiers will also be World Cups. This would be wonderful for our Vancouver gold medallist, Adam Hall.”
The program will include FIS World Cup events in Snowboard Slopestyle, Snowboard Cross, Freestyle Ski Halfpipe, Freestyle Ski Slopestyle, as well as Snowboard Halfpipe. Three Super Continental Cups and seven Continental Cups will also feature in the competition. The 2013 edition will run over 14 days from August 12-25. The event also includes a full off-snow festival program featuring an adventure film festival, live music and entertainment.
The Winter Games NZ have already established itself as a leader in major events in New Zealand attaining impressive accolades. The 2009 Winter Games NZ won the 2010 SPARC Event Excellence Award, the 2009 edition also achieved the PRINZ Special Event Category winner and last year’s event won the 2012 Sport NZ Commercial Partnership Award for its partnership with Tourism NZ.
For further information visit www.wintergamesnz.com
Photo Credit to Getty Images.