Winter Games put on ice

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By CASS MARRETT

This year’s Winter Games NZ, to have been held in Queenstown next week, has been canned.

WGNZ CEO Martin Toomey says it’s ‘‘disappointing’’, but the ‘‘right decision’’.

The five-day weather window for the Freeski, being held at The Remarks, was to have started Sunday, while a Big Air was locked and loaded at Cardrona next Saturday.

Toomey says the uncertainty around Alert Level changes means it would have been difficult to postpone because of potential conflict with other scheduled events on the mountains, and the finite length of the ski season.

‘‘We know they were good [the conditions] and it would have been great to hold the event, but it is what it is,’’ Toomey says.

He says athlete safety also played a big part in the decision to cancel.

The majority of athletes set to compete — who’ll be ‘‘equally gutted’’ — were Kiwis, given current border restrictions.

‘‘Those athletes have been off snow for the duration of the lockdown too.

‘‘Putting [them] into a high level of competition immediately post-lockdown is a health and safety risk.’’

cass.marrett@scene.co.nz