Queenstown snowboarder living the dream

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Gutsy Queenstown snowboarder Elysia Gibb (pictured) takes on the world’s best snow riders in the World Heli Challenge, starting tomorrow. 

American athletes like snowboarder Travis Rice, ski racing 2010 Olympics double silver medallist Julia Mancuso and base jumper and freeskier Ted Davenport are amongst the snow superstars lining up for the nine-day event in Mt Aspiring National Park. 

Gibb, who works in sales and marketing for Southern Lakes Heli, hasn’t boarded in the park’s back country before but she gets plenty of practice on local slopes with her job. 

The 35-year-old admits the line-up is “a bit intimidating” but it won’t faze her too much. 

“When you’re out there with other competitors you get in the mode and you start pushing yourself. 

“I prefer to be in the back country and just playing around. And I like to ride aggressively. I’m just going to give it a go. Live the dream, you know,” she says.