Gutsy Queenstown skier Mitchey Greig hopes Kiwi ingenuity will propel her into contention at next year’s Winter Olympics.
Greig, 21, has been using a makeshift start gate to practise speedy take-offs in the lead-up to skier-cross races in Europe, the United States and Canada.
“Dad used to be an engineer so hewent into his tool shed and knocked it all out. I helped, but I’m not really much of a welder,” she says.
Greig left for the US on Monday. She’ll be based in Denver before heading off to Europe to compete in world cup events and then Vancouver for her first-ever Olympics in February.
Her makeshift starter gate is a far cry from the methods of her northern hemisphere competitors: “The Germans and the Austrians all have hardcore science test labs.
“First we modified a pair of skis with the trucks of skateboards drilled into the bottom so you could click your ski boots in and ski down the road.
“But it didn’t really work out the way we planned so we built a mini drop gate.
“We used a grill from an old desktop computer we found in the garage and I wore rollerblades instead.
“It was pretty fun.”
As well as rollerblading around Queenstown streets, Greig’s been logging training hours on her BMX, mountain bike and at the gym.
She’s the only NZ woman who competes in the skier-cross discipline and has already met Olympic criteria.