The Olympic qualifiers for ski and snowboard cross will be kicking off in December, but until then many of the best athletes are taking advantage of an all new purpose-built World Cup course at Cardrona Alpine Resort in New Zealand.
The course was built and shaped by Sweden’s Anders Forsell for this year’s training as well as next year’s Snowboard Cross World Cup Event, which will feature on the Winter Game NZ schedule. Anders is known for designing and building snow-parks around the world. He has completed multiple commissions for FIS World Cup arenas and is now involved with the Sochi 2014 Olympic courses.
An array of elite athletes have been training on the course including current world champion Alex Pullin (AUS), Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott (USA) as well as national teams and representatives from the U.S., Russia, Norway, Australia and Slovenia. The training camp began on September 4 and will carry on through the end of this week.
Training on the run is critical for all the athletes ahead of the first World Cup in Austria this December. The course culminates with the FIS Snowboard Cross and Skier Cross (ANC) Continental Cup being staged from Monday through Thursday of next week at Cardrona.
“It has been extremely exciting to have such a high caliber of international athletes training in the Wanaka and Queenstown area this winter season,” said Winter Games CEO, Arthur Klapp. “The popularity of this camp certainly suggests we have achieved our goal of providing a quality snowboard cross course in the Southern Hemisphere with athletes looking to get training in ahead of next year’s Winter Games and the Olympics six months later.”