The Audi quattro Winter Games NZ in Cardrona are in full swing. Starting Thursday 23rd August the first medals have been handed out in Snowboard and Freestyle big air as well as in ski and snowboard cross events of the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships, which are part of the Winter Games NZ setup. Even though the winter conditions in New Zealand are excellent this winter, the Organisers had to cope with an entire array of weather-related challenges in the first days.
Starting with high winds blowing out the Saturday and Sunday big air programmes and causing schedule changes, fog and poor visibility added to the woes in an already packed Audi quattro Winter Games NZ programme. Hard work and impeccable preparation of the competition sites organisation helped enable most of the events to take place in the end.
Sarah Lewis, FIS Secretary General witnessed the first action-packed days: “The quality of the venue at Cardrona and each of the event courses for the FIS Freestyle and Snowboard Junior World Championships was matched by impressive athlete performances. The Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ has established itself as an important event on the calendar with a highly professional organisation and dedicated volunteers.” She added: “Another really pleasing thing to see was the number of youngsters with families, friends and with instructors thoroughly enjoying themselves having fun in the terrain parks located all over the mountain”.
With the first medals awarded, the Winter Games NZ enter their second week with much more action to come: the young freeskiers and snowboarders are turning to the slopestyle course and the halfpipe and in alpine Snowboarding, athletes are preparing to fight for medals in parallel slalom and giant slalom events.
With the Alpine Skiing ANC Cup wrapping up tomorrow at Coronet Peak, the Cross-Country skiers will get into action with interval start, sprints and mass start races at Snow Farm next week.
Last but certainly not least, the big stars of Snowboard and Freeski with many of the medallists from the PyeongChang 2018 Games will gear up for the beginning of the new season: the first big air FIS World Cup of 2018/19, immediately following the FIS Junior World Championships to conclude the Winter Games NZ, will take place on 7th September (Freeski) and 8th September (Snowboard).