Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Zealand Winter Games Opens

The second 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games opened today as over 1,000 spectators to watch the opening Parklife Rail Jam and see the Games officially opened by the Hon David Carter, Minister of Economic Development. Mr Carter said the Games are now one of the largest winter sports events outside the Winter Olympics, reflecting New Zealand’s growing reputation as a major events host.

"Winter Games New Zealand is a home-grown event which is proving a huge drawcard for the world’s elite snow and ice sport athletes. Competitor numbers are up by 200 on the inaugural event in 2009", said Mr Carter.
"The tourism spin-offs are significant, particularly in terms of international media exposure. The Winter Games showcase our spectacular winter landscape and put New Zealand on the map of world-class events".
Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap, said the Games had developed into more than just an elite sporting event. "Our concentration at the inaugural Games in 2009 was to put on an outstanding sporting event and there’s no question the athletes are the most important component of this event. But in 2011 we’ve stepped it up - we’ve improved the product for the athletes, we’ve brought Canterbury into the programme as Mt Hutt has the best Super G course in the country. We wanted to have more community contact so we’ve introduced downtown awards ceremonies, an adventure expo, concerts, film festivals to involve the community and athletes even more".
The on snow competition starts tomorrow, 13 August 2011, with the Cross Country Classic at Snow Farm, Lake Wanaka, featuring Olympic gold medallist Justyna Kowacyk (POL), Alexander Panzhinskiy (RUS) Olympic silver medallist and Nikita Kriukov (RUS), Olympic gold medallist.

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