Winter Games 2011 dates announced

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It’s now official – the Winter Games NZ are locked in for August 13-28, 2011. 

Chairman of the games Sir Eion Edgar announced there will be a repeat performance of last year’s snow sports showcase at the closing ceremony of the Junior World Champs in Wanaka today. 

“We are delighted with the level of government support from the Major Events Development Fund, SPARC and Tourism New Zealand which has ensured the future of this highly regarded event,” Edgar says. 

Organisers had been waiting on funding from the Ministry of Economic Development’s major events fund, which was expected last February. 

More than 1,000 elite international snow and ice superstars – both able-bodied and adaptive – will jet from 40 countries for next year’s event. 

There are a few additions to last year’s inaugural games – the action will now run for 16 instead of just eight action-packed days. 

Super G and adaptive super G have been added to the list of alpine contests, to be held at Mt Hutt, while the rest of the alpine disciplines will stay at local field Coronet Peak. 

Speed skating is a new addition to the Dunedin-based ice sports and Snow Farm will host a winter triathlon, another newbie on the competition list. 

Last year’s competition brought $50 million in direct spending and media exposure to the Otago region, organisers say.