The NZ Winter Games continue today with the Snowboard Slopestyle at The Remarkables, the cross-country classic skiing at Snow Farm, the start of the curling at Naseby and the final ice hockey test match in Dunedin…
Ten days, 34 events, 15 sports, 800 athletes, nations from around the world and an audience of millions – Winter Games NZ, the only event of its kind outside the Winter Olympics, got off to a good start with a beautiful clear day.
Yesterday, the first day, was a particularly good one for New Zealand’s home grown boy, Jossi Wells, who came second in the freeski slopestyle event. He was justifiably delighted to have taken second place in such a strong international field and in his own home town…“it is cool to have a competition at home and be able to bring all my mates to come down and do a competition in my backyard,” he said.
Thomas Wallisch from USA took first place and third place went to USA’s Bobby Brown. The top 3 scores were very close with 82.80, 82.40, and 80.60.
Australian, Anna Segal took first place in the women’s event with a score of 86.80. “I was pretty stoked with how it all went today. It’s not as big as we are used to hitting but this allowed us to get more creative,” said Anna Segal. Second place went to Rosalind Groenewoud of Canada with a score of 77.60 and third place went to Dania Assaly with 76.00.
The Remarkables slopestyle couse was very original, particularly something called the ‘barrel bonk jump’ which was something the riders hadn’t seen before but gave them the opportunity of trying out all sorts of tricks.
Winter Games NZ is to be the ultimate testing ground for elite winter athletes to experiment and explore performance limits against world-class competition.
Every four years, the Games will act as a direct lead-up to the Winter Olympics giving athletes an invaluable training opportunity. Many of the medal winners on the podium in Vancouver in 2010 will have honed their skills on the slopes of the Southern Alps.