A quality field of top international athletes has already been confirmed for the inaugural â€˜100% Pureâ€™ New Zealand Winter Games, including a host of Olympians, world champions and national champions, with entries still flooding in.
SkiRebel.com has learned that more than 800 competitors from over 20 different countries will descend on the South Island August 21-30 to take on New Zealandâ€™s best winter sports athletes.
Among the stars confirmed so far are five-time Olympic medalist and current Olympic slalom champion Anja Paerson from Sweden, 2006 Olympic cross-country sprint gold medal winner Chandra Crawford from Canada, Japanâ€™s former skier-X World Champion Hiroomi Takizawa, and Australian halfpipe snowboarders Nathan Johnstone, the world number-two, and World Championship runner-up Holly Crawford.
The strength and depth of competitors heading to New Zealand highlights the importance of the Games for athletes ahead of next yearâ€™s Winter Olympics in Vancouver,â€
said Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap. â€œFor some itâ€™s about sharpening their competitive edge during the northern hemisphere summer, whereas others will be going all out to gain World Cup points and qualify for their national squads.â€
Other world class athletes competing at the games include three of Germanyâ€™s top four snowboard-X riders, Canadaâ€™s top-ranked female skiers in slalom, giant slalom and Super G, and four-time Winter Olympian Patrik Jaerbyn from the Swedish Ski Team which also includes current national champions Andre Myhrer and Kajsa Kling. China is sending a large snowboard halfpipe contingent that includes current womenâ€™s world number one, Jiayu Liu.
The inaugural â€˜100% Pureâ€™ New Zealand Winter Games will take place at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Farm, Naseby and Dunedin from 21-30 August 2009. They will feature alpine skiing, free skiing, x-country skiing, snowboarding, curling, ice skating and adaptive snow sports as well as the demonstration sports of winter triathlon and natural luge.
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