Top American giant slalom athlete Ted Ligety will fly into Queenstown for Winter Games’ opening night.
The United States Olympic gold medallist will compete in the night dual slalom at Coronet Peak.
Ligety is currently training at Round Hill ski field at Tekapo with the US men’s team – but will be choppered in for the event.
He’ll be joined by other team members, including reigning US Alpine Slalom Champion David Chodounsky.
US coach Forest Carey says Ligety and the other American entries are upbeat about competing.
“Our athletes put in a lot of effort with their training and it’s good for them to have the chance to race in the cash prize night slalom.”
He reckons Winter Games is recognised as a quality event with a growing awareness of its place on the international circuit.
Fellow Olympic gold medallist Mikaela Shiffrin has already been announced and will join Ligety at the start gates.