Winter Games NZ is Back

The Games are now underway with the Super G the first event to take place. After two years of disruption due to the pandemic the southern hemisphere’s biggest snowsports event runs through to September 18th. UPDATED

The event started with Alpine Ski racing at Coronet Peak on Saturday the 27th August.

New Zealand’s Willis Feasey and Canada’s Candace Crawford each claimed back-to-back wins in the respective men’s and women’s fields.

The course was set on The Hurdle run which, with its steep pitch and natural rollers, gave racers every opportunity to put the hammer down and post fast times.

“It was a really fun slope, it’s such a good race hill, Coronet Peak really turned it on. It’s pretty special to win both races here today,” said Feasey who spent 10 years training on the hill as a member of the national team before taking up a building apprenticeship earlier this year.

The 2018 Olympian was very pleased to find himself in the top spot, one day shy of his 30 birthday.

“The top section felt really good, I was really happy, there’s a big cranking turn right at the top and I managed to nail that and carry quite a lot of speed into the pitch,” Feasey explained after the first race.

Candace Crawford was also pleased to be showing good early season form to take out to wins in the women’s field. She commented:

“I’m pretty happy, it’s early in the season for me coming from North America.

“I don’t normally start until October, November so it’s good to get a few races under the belt prior to the Northern Hemisphere season starting to build confidence and figure out a few things.

“It feels good and I can build on that and get prepared for the World Cup season in December.”

The FIS ANC Giant Slalom race due to be held on 28th August was postponed due to poor visibility on course.

This race will be held on Tuesday 30 August.

Monday’s second FIS ANC Giant Slalom is due to be held as scheduled.

There will be 16 events across alpine, freeride and freestyle with more than 400 athletes from 23 nations competing.

It all takes pace at Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables on the South Island.

“After a few challenging years it is fantastic to be able to welcome international athletes back to New Zealand and provide a full programme of Alpine Ski Racing, Freeride, Park and Pipe in the Queenstown Lakes District,” said Winter Games NZ CEO, Marty Toomey.

For the first time since 2019 international riders are able to attend as border restrictions have eased.

Competition has taken place during the pandemic but under strict restrictions.

“We are excited to bring back the Winter Games NZ this year and look forward to providing a platform that allows kiwi athletes to benchmark themselves against their international competition across many disciplines and events,” added Marty Toomey.

The event is committed to a four-year plan.

It will see Winter Games NZ growing year on year towards the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

“We love showcasing the Southern Lakes to the world and want to encourage as many people as possible to watch our events live on mountain. For those who can’t be there in person we will be producing amazing content for our digital and television audiences.

“With so many events to choose from across our world class venues, the 2022 Winter Games NZ will be quite the celebration.”

Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Slopestyle action is at Cardrona Alpine Resort from the 1st to the 4th of September.

These FIS Continental Cups will draw a big crowd with kiwi stars dropping in alongside their team mates and other international competitors.

The North Face Frontier is back between Saturday 3rd and Thursday 8th September, at The Remarkables. 

The event will be hosted within a 6-day weather window with the two best snow and weather days identified for the action.

This kiwi freeride institution features 2* and 4* Freeride World Tour Qualifier events and will attract many names you now see on the Freeride World Tour.

16-days of snow sports competition will end with Big Air and Park Jam events at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

Winter Games NZ. Image © PlanetSKI

For more information see www.WinterGamesNZ.kiwi.