The rumours are true – dates for the 2011 Winter Games have been confirmed

The 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games have been confirmed for 13th – 28th August 2011.

100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games

This is the biggest winter sports event outside of the Winter Olympics.

As with the inaugural event in 2009, next year’s Winter Games will feature 16 days of snow and ice sports and is expected to attract over 1,000 elite athletes from all around the world including the homegrown ones.

Following sign-off from all key central and local government partners and speaking at the closing ceremony of the 2010 FIS Snowboard and Freestyle Junior World Championships, Winter Games NZ chairman, Sir Eion Edgar, 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 (disabled) 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 (vision20media).

For all athletes participating there is NO entry fee and for the public this event represents fantastic value for money. All the snow sports are free to attend apart from the stadium events at Naseby and Dunedin – these will have an entry fee.

Snowfarm and Cardrona in Wanaka, Coronet Peak and the Remarkables in Queenstown (NZ), Maniototo Ice Rink in Naseby and Dunedin Ice Rink, Dunedin are the chosen venues. 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.

And the other new addition will be the 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.

Last year it was it was 18-year-old free skier Bobby Brown from the USA who struck gold with a double-cork 1080 mute, landing him an impressive 83.33 points.“The jump was just perfect for me, I really enjoyed it,” he said. “The landing was soft and slushy, which made it difficult for some of the guys but you just have to make the most of it and I had a lot of fun. I’ll be heading back to Colorado very happy to have won.”

Roll on August 2011.

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