Winter Games NZ chairman, Sir Eion Edgar, today announced 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games is confirmed for 13-28 August 2011 following signoff from all key central and local government partners.
Expanding on the successful inaugural event in 2009, 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games, will feature 16 days of snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from throughout the world to the Southern Alps.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIS Snowboard and Freestyle Junior World Championships, Sir Eion said, "We are delighted with the level of government support from the Major Events Development Fund, SPARC and Tourism New Zealand which has ensured the future of this highly regarded event. They recognise the success of the first Games and support the continued growth into 2011. Our planning is already well advanced and with the success of this year’s Junior World Championships we expect even bigger and more competitive fields next year".
In 2009, Winter Games made global snow sports history by producing the first winter sports event of its kind outside of the Winter Olympics and by combining adaptive and able-bodied athletes in an elite event. Its importance on the elite snow sports calendar was confirmed, not only by the significant field it attracted, but by the number of competitors who went on to win medals at the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver. Seven Paralympic and 10 Olympic medallists had competed at Winter Games, including the entire men’s snowboard halfpipe podium.
Building on that success, the 2011 provisional programme has expanded with the inclusion of two new sports and a new location outside of the Otago region. Mt Hutt near Christchurch, Canterbury will now host the Super G and Adaptive Super G alpine skiing events while the remaining alpine skiing events will stay at Coronet Peak in Queenstown.
Dunedin will again be the ice sports centre and will see an increase in events with the inclusion of speed skating in the ice programme. In addition, the ice hockey tournament will feature four international teams in a round robin play-off while figure skating will open the Games on 13 August 2011. The ice programme is rounded out by the curling programme in Naseby, Maniototo which has been extended to include mixed pairs.
Another new addition is Winter Triathlon at Snow Farm, near Wanaka which was a demonstration event at the 2009 Winter Games. Snow Farm will also host the adaptive and able-bodied cross-country.
Cardrona Alpine Resort near Lake Wanaka will host the free ski and snowboard halfpipe and big air events together with the snowboard cross and ski cross racing. Freeski and snowboard slopestyle will take place cross the valley at Snow Park NZ.
Central and local government supporters of 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games are New Zealand Major Events, SPARC, Tourism New Zealand, Dunedin City Council, Queenstown Lakes District Council, Christchurch City Council, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Destination Queenstown, Tourism Dunedin, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism and Ashburton District Tourism.