The only way is up for our Tim (with slideshow)


Queenstown alpine ski racer Tim Cafe isn’t letting an average performance worry him ahead of his main event this weekend. 

Winter Olympian Cafe finished 62nd in Monday’s Winter Games giant slalom race at Coronet Peak, behind first Kiwi home and fellow national ski teammates Ben Griffin and local Adam Barwood – who came 24th and 39th respectively. 

“I was impressively bad,” he says. 

“I’m not too worried about it but I could have done better. GS is not my preferred discipline.” 

Cafe competed again yesterday at Coronet in the Games’ men’s slalom race – finishing 31st – but he’s got his focus on Saturday’s Winter Games super G race at Mt Hutt, followed by the National Super G Champs on Sunday. 

“Super G just feels more natural to me, I love the speed. I also love the course at Mt Hutt, I’ve skied it so many times and I’m pretty confident. If I ski well I’m hoping to finish in the top 10.” 

Cafe’s been impressed by the depth of talent in the field for this week’s races, which also double as Australia New Zealand Cup events. 

“It’s great to have some of the best in the world up against an already-strong group of athletes.” 

This year’s unusual winter – a late start followed by massive snow storms – has made a dent on Cafe’s on-mountain training. 

“We lost June training with there being no snow but I also lost part of my income [at Browns Ski Shop], so I had to work quite a lot all the way through the rest of the season. 

“But the reality is because I ski so much anyway it was quite good for me to ski a little less. 

“I’ve really enjoyed this winter – it’s opened up unique opportunities, like skiing down to the bottom of the Coronet Peak access road twice last week. It’s just been a lot more fun.”

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Pictures: Michael Thomas