The inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games came to a close today on a wintery Coronet Peak in Queenstown. The celebrations were marked by a closing ceremony that featured aerials, a parade of nations down the mountain and the New Zealand Prime Minster before a final closing by Ngai Tahu elder Sir Tipene Regan and a celebratory fireworks display.
Over 800 athletes, 40 countries, 400 volunteers and 37 events over 10 days marked the first 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games which was heralded a success by athletes, stakeholders and organisers alike.
Winter Games NZ chairman, Sir Eion Edgar, said that it had been a fantastic 10 days and it was a credit to the athletes who had made these Games an outstanding world class event. He then presented the award for the top performing country of 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games to Canada who won 10 gold, 12 silver and 10 bronze medals. The USA was runner up, followed by Japan.
Prime Minister John Key said he was proud to showcase New Zealand to the international athletes and it was testament to the commitment of the athletes that they were prepared to compete in spite of challenging weather conditions. He also paid tribute to the many volunteers who were instrumental to the success of the event and went on to indicate his support of the 2011 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games.
Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap, is pleased with the international coverage of the event saying it has been outstanding with expected global TV audiences of 500 million and extensive print and internet coverage.
The next 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games will take place in 2011.