Yes, it’s that time of year again when all the different national ski teams start to arrive in Queenstown to train at Coronet Peak. First up is Team Canada – all of their finely sculpted men have arrived and will be training at the T-bar, so if there are a lot of ladies lingering around that area we’ll all know why. The team includes big names like Erik Guay, who’s the man when it comes to speed – ranked 12th in the world in downhill. They’ll be doing lots of drills and free skiing at first before really winding into pre-Olympic training. The Canadian women’s team will have their first on-snow camp next month.
Another success was this year’s North Face Peak to Peak, held last Saturday. Well done to all those who managed to drag themselves off the couch to race from the top of The Remarks to the top of Coronet Peak – even if it was just for a weekend’s adrenalin injection. Of course it wouldn’t have happened without all the spectators and support crews who stood on the side and egged the competitors on, and the volunteers who gave up their time to run the event. Nice work.
Styles on the slopes
Snowboarders dominated entry numbers during The Remarkables’ first competition of its annual Slopestyle series last Sunday. Nick Brown earned the most points in the men’s open snowboarder category and Rebecca Torr scored highest in the open women’s event. Jay Walsh and Jeanie Bamber won their respective junior snowboard events and in skiing, Kentaro Tsuda won the men’s open and Chiho Takao the women’s open, while Alec Senery and Adie Lawrence won their respective junior categories. The three-event Slopestyle series, in its 11th year, is held at the Dirty Dog Terrain Park. Top points scorers overall will take out the main prizes when the comp finishes on September 19.
Joke of the Week
Two male skiers were on their way out on piste when one said to the other: “Where did you get your new skis?” The other guy replied: “Well, I was skiing along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman came up on these skis. She unclipped them from her bindings and threw them to the ground, took off all her clothes and said ‘Take what you want.’” The first skier nodded approvingly: “Good choice, the clothes probably wouldn’t have fitted.”
Winter Games Countdown (August 21 – 30)
Big names confirmed
New Zealand’s biggest snow sports event is pulling some of the best athletes in the world. Among the 650-plus competitors entered in the inaugural Winter Games are Sweden’s five-time Olympic medallist and Olympic slalom champ Anja Paerson and 2006 Olympic crosscountry sprint gold medallist Chandra Crawford of Canada. Japan’s former skier-X world champ Hiromi Takizawa is also confirmed, as well as Aussie halfpipe snowboarders Nathan Johnstone – world No 2 – and 2009 world champs runner-up Holly Crawford. Some of NZ’s finest will also be there – Winter X-Games medallist Jossi Wells, snowboarder James Hamilton, Paralympian skier Adam Hall and crosscountry skier Katherine Calder. “The strength and depth of competitors heading to NZ highlights the importance of the Games for athletes ahead of next year’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver,” Winter Games boss Arthur Klap says. The event is also drawing athletes from far-off places such as Brazil, Ukraine, Chile, Bahamas and Mongolia. The Mongolian National Ski Federation has entered a team of three alpine ski racers for the slalom, giant slalom and super G disciplines, Klap says.
Mitchey Greig (ski cross) and Taylor Rapley (ski racing) are NZ skiing reps.
Mitchey (mitchey.com) is sponsored by Head, Pulse Fitness, Scott, The North Face, Coronet Peak and Outside Sports. Taylor is sponsored by Volkl, Under Armour, POC, Pulse Fitness, Outside Sports and Coronet Peak