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LATEST NEWS: Winter Games NZ Confirmed for 2022, committed to 2023, 2024 & 2025!

Winter Games NZ TV Series Premiere

We are excited to announce that the three part TV series highlighting the best moments of the 2022 Winter Games NZ will be premiering on Sky Sport 1 and the Winter Games NZ YouTube channel from the 3rd of October. 

Make sure you tune in to catch all the action from the FIS ANC events at both Cardrona Alpine Resort and Coronet Peak (Show 1), The North Face Frontier 4* held in the Alta Chutes at The Remarkables (Show 2) and the Cardrona STOMP presented by La Roche-Posay (Show 3). 

Sky Sport 1

3 October | Winter Games NZ Show 1 | 7.30pm on Sky Sport 1
4 October | Winter Games NZ Show 2 | 7.30pm on Sky Sport 1
5 October | Winter Games NZ Show 3 | 7.30pm on Sky Sport 1

Winter Games NZ YouTube Channel

Watch here for free – Winter Games NZ YouTube

Subscribe to our free channel to receive reminders and check out the other action we have already uploaded to our YouTube!

3 October | Winter Games NZ Show 1 | 8.30pm
4 October | Winter Games NZ Show 2 | 8.30pm
5 October | Winter Games NZ Show 3 | 8.30pm 

Show 1 | Cardrona FIS ANC Halfpipe and Slopestyle presented by La Roche-Posay & ANC Giant Slalom from Coronet Peak Show 
Welcome to the biggest snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere, welcome to the Winter Games New Zealand. Aotearoa is fast building a reputation as one of the superpowers in park and pipe and Winter Games NZ represents the first chance for an international field to challenge the kiwis on home snow since the Beijing Olympic Games. Join us for the action of the Cardrona FIS ANC Halfpipe and Slopestyle presented by La Roche-Posay. 

We will also be heading over to the home of Alpine ski racing, Coronet Peak where we will be bringing you the best action from the first FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Super G on NZ snow since 2019. With Alice Robinson and Willis Feasey in the mix it promises to be a quick one. 

Show 2 | The North Face Frontier 4*
Welcome to the biggest snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere, welcome to the Winter Games New Zealand. We have all of the action from the freeride skiing and snowboarding at The North Face Frontier 4* event held in the Alta Chutes at The Remarkables ski area. In this show we’ll catch up with Jess Hotter, New Zealand’s first ever freeride World Champion.

Show 3 | The Cardrona STOMP Show presented by La Roche-Posay
Welcome to the biggest snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere, welcome to the Winter Games New Zealand. This is the final show from the 2022 Winter Games NZ and we’re going out with a bang. Watching the Big Air and Park Jam events is like watching anarchy on snow!

Prepare yourself for STOMP, two events with a more relaxed vibe that allows the athletes to focus on both creativity and progression. 

Guseli, Moffat Back Up Wins in The Cardrona STOMP Park Jam

The 2022 Winter Games NZ wrapped up in style today with the Cardrona STOMP Park Jam presented by La Roche-Posay. Vibes were high as the field of world-class skiers and snowboarders dropped into the purpose-built rail garden looking to showcase their most stylish and creative tricks.

The jam format meant that competitors had two hours to take laps through the rail garden hitting their choice of rail features with a rolling ranking system determining the top three placings in each category for male and female, skiers and snowboarders.

The athletes enjoyed the relaxed feel of the event, treating it much like a fun session hanging out with friends rather than a high-pressure competition.

“It takes away the competition pressure, you have less nerves and can just go with the flow a bit more,” explained Kiwi competitor Luca Harrington.

Max Moffat (CAN), who took out first place in the men’s freeski Big Air yesterday, was back on top form today, consistently stomping his tricks and impressing the judges with his variety.

“I definitely did not expect the weekend to go how it did,” said a delighted Moffat. “I’ve had such a blast. I grew up doing rail jams, they’re one of my favourite things ever, it’s such a blast to get into one today. I was surprised to win again, it’s such an honour. I love being here in New Zealand, it feels like a second home, it brings out the best in me.”

Ferdinand Dahl (NOR) was a close second, landing some of the gnarliest tricks of the day, but taking a few runs to nail down the execution. Kiwi Finn Bilous finished in third place, with a good variety of tricks and some creative highlights including his rodeo 720 tail tap.

While not a podium finisher, Jackson Wells (NZL) was the competitor who arguably made the most creative use of the course, jumping clean over the judging tent not once but twice, the second time with a backflip.

The women’s ski category saw an interesting battle for the top spot between Kelly Sildaru (EST) and Olivia Asselin (CAN). 10-time X Games medallist Sildaru, who has spent several seasons training at Cardrona from a young age, eventually edged ahead, able to land more clean runs than the Canadian and with a greater variety of tricks in her repertoire. Anni Karava (FIN) finished in third place.

“It’s pretty much my first week on snow after four months,” said Sildaru. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I just came here to have fun and enjoy skiing and that’s what I did.”

Valentino Guseli (AUS) also backed up his win in the men’s snowboard Big Air yesterday, taking out first place in the Park Jam today. Displaying all round riding prowess, he made full use of the course, throwing down technical tricks on the quarter pipe feature as well as showcasing technical rail work.

“After yesterday I didn’t want to be complacent,” said Guseli. “I wanted to put a show on for the crowd, I just wanted to do my best snowboarding and I was happy to get pretty close to that. Everyone had their own little twist on different features, it was cool to see. To get two wins is awesome.”

Dane Menzies (NZL) looked unstoppable out on the course, making 12 laps of the park, the most of any competitor. The judges awarded him second place for consistently putting down good clean runs incorporating some standout tricks and some big transfers.

It was a close finish between local riders Cam Melville Ives and Rocco Jamieson, both displaying strong riding throughout the event and individual strengths. Both scored highly for their rail tricks and Jamieson had some strong stall tricks on the wall ride feature, but Melville-Ives just topped that by going bigger on the transfer as well as on the quarter pipe with a frontside double 1080.

Two-time World Champion in slopestyle, 26-year-old Laurie Blouin (CAN) was a clear winner in the women’s snowboard, showing her class and experience with a full bag of technical rail tricks.

“It was a super fun day and the level was really good today,” she said. “It was nice to have fun and it’s good to be back here in New Zealand.”

15-year-old NZ rider Lucia Georgalli, one of the youngest competitors of the day, was delighted to finish in second place, with Mari Fukada (JPN) in third.

Innovative Style-Based Format a Hit with Big Air Competitors at Winter Games NZ

The Cardrona STOMP Big Air presented by La Roche-Posay got underway at Cardrona Alpine Resort today with skiers and snowboarders throwing down on the Big Air jump. With perfect weather conditions and a start list featuring World Champions and World Cup, X Games and Olympic Games medallists the stage was set for a heavy-hitting competition.

The two-day STOMP series, presented as part of the Winter Games NZ, incorporates two separate events: today’s Big Air event in which competitors were judged on the style and technicality of their tricks, and the Park Jam which will be held in a purpose-built rail garden, designed to provide athletes with the opportunity to show off their creativity and style. The event is invitational and the innovative competition format has been co-designed with athletes to ensure they can showcase their incredible talent.

The Big Air competitors took four laps on the jump and were given a combined score for their best ‘style’ trick and best ‘technical’ trick. New Zealand Olympian Finn Bilous described what this brought to the competition.

“I think with the format change today the style component really changed things up from the traditional Big Air where it’s usually just based on technicality and amplitude. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the technical difficulty side and forget to put time into that style aspect. We’ve really seen a different result from what we might have anticipated if it had been a traditional Big Air. It’s really cool to be a part of it and I’d like to see more of it in the future.”

Canada’s Max Moffat was the top scoring athlete in the men’s skiing. More of a slopestyle specialist, Moffat was also a fan of today’s experimental competition format.
“It’s pretty unexpected to win, honestly. I don’t really consider myself a Big Air skier but I’m super down with this format. You’ve got to bring both style and tech to the table which is super cool and it works better for me, I love it.”

For his technical trick Max landed a double bio 1620 safety grab to Japan grab and for his style trick a cork 180.

Finn Bilous landed in second place in men’s ski, managing to improve his score on his very last run.

“We only had one run left and my lowest score was for my tech trick so I went to improve that,” he explained.” I got the grab a bit better and managed to up my score and land in second place which I’m really stoked about.”

Cardrona local Jackson Wells, a 2017 X Games medallist who has been retired from competition for the last two years, was enjoying being back in the bib today, and even happier to find himself finishing on the podium in third place.

Canada’s Olivia Asselin was a last-minute entry in today’s competition having only arrived in New Zealand two days ago. Crashing her first two attempts at the left double 1080 for her technical trick, she managed to put her fears aside and get the job done on her final attempt to finish in first place in women’s freeski.  

“It’s my first time hitting the big jump this year so it was pretty scary,” she said after the event. “I’m feeling really good about that last jump, I was pretty scared to do it again. I tried it twice before and crashed twice, I went a bit too big but I laced it on the last try.”

Known for her progressive style in women’s freeski, Asselin showcased this today, landing a rodeo 540 with safety grab to shifty for her style trick.

Megan Oldham (CAN) finished in second place with New Zealand’s Ruby Andrews in third.

Four-time X Games medallist Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) had plans to up a frontside double 1080 to a backside double 1260 for maximum points on her technicality score but struggled on the landing for her first two attempts. She finally stomped the frontside 10 on the third try and backed it up with a clean frontside 360 indy grab for the win in the women’s snowboard category.

“I wanted to try the front double 10 and then back double 12 and I crashed but I’m so happy to win,” she explained.

Mari Fukada was the second-place finisher in women’s snowboard. New Zealand’s Cool Wakushima finished in third place.

Australia’s Valentino Guseli “couldn’t be happier” to take the win in men’s snowboard. “I guess I got up on the right side of the bed this morning,” he said. His top-scoring technical trick was a frontside 1800 melon. Laying it all out for style points, Guseli went for “a trick I like to call my own, called a stalefly, I’ve never seen anyone else do it. It’s a backside double cork 1080 grab stalefish and on the second dip you tweak it like a method.”

Japanese riders rounded out the podium with Hiroaki Kunitake in second and Taiga Hasegawa third.

The Cardrona STOMP continues tomorrow (Sunday) with the Park Jam.

The North Face Frontier Athletes Take Big Mountain Competition to New Heights at Winter Games NZ

Freeride athletes took centre stage at the Winter Games NZ today with The North Face Frontier four-star competition delivering all the thrills and spills in this exciting big mountain event held at The Remarkables Ski Field in Queenstown. The 50-strong start list featured some of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders, all ready to throw down in the fiercely steep and exposed terrain of the Alta Chutes.

Sanctioned as a Freeride World Qualifier Tour competition, The North Face Frontier four-star event has helped launch the international careers of some of New Zealand’s best freeride athletes, including the current Freeride World Tour champion. Jess Hotter, who headlined the women’s freeski category.

With a strong Kiwi contingent featuring a host of past and present FWT competitors along with some international stars including a two-time Olympic medallist in the mix, it was always going to take something special to land amongst the medals at today’s event.

The women’s ski podium was certainly hotly contested and the judges had their work cut out for them deciding the final places faced with one of the classic freeride judging conundrums of freestyle tricks versus gnarly, steep lines. Three of the competitors landed backflips, which has never been seen before in a women’s Freeride World Qualifier competition.

“By far the standout category today was the women’s ski,” said head judge Dion Newport. “It was the most insane freeriding from female competitors that I’ve ever seen, by far.”

Separating first from second was a tough ask with Jess Hotter landing a perfectly executed backflip but the USA’s Kelsey Wittels picking up huge points for attacking the course with an aggressive run right in the fall line. In the end it was the control and fluidity of Hotter’s run that tipped the scales in her favour.

“I finally put down a backflip in competition so I’m really stoked, I’m so happy,” said Hotter. “I tried backflipping on the Freeride World Tour in 2020 and I under rotated it so I’ve been wanting to do it ever since but the conditions on the tour this year did not call for that. This is my trick redemption.”

Second-place finisher Wittels was also happy to get some redemption after an equipment failure in the two-star event on Monday saw her break a ski and crash out of podium contention. Putting all that behind her, she took the brakes off today.

“There’s this big meaty cliff in the middle that I had my eye on so I tried to line it up. When you look over it, it just looks way too big but it’s too late then so I sent it as big as I could,” she explained.

Kiwi Jessie Violet, winner of Monday’s two-star competition, was delighted to land her first-ever attempt at a backflip in competition to finish in third place today.  

“Winning on the two-star definitely gave me confidence for today,” she said. “It’s really motivating for me to step up my skiing and be on that higher level.  I had the goal for myself that I wanted to backflip in my run and I did that so I’m really happy.”

Canada’s Justine Dufour-Lapointe who is an Olympic medallist in moguls and now trying her hand at the freeride discipline, was the third female competitor to nail a backflip today, putting her in fourth place overall.

Women’s snowboard was the first category of the day with British competitor Melissa Brandner first to drop and laying down the top scoring run straight out of the gate.

“The chute really reminded me of home,” Brandner explained. “I live in northern Norway and we ride chutes like that a lot. That made me feel a little more comfortable, especially dropping first.”

New Zealand’s Maria Kuzma, a former Freeride World Tour competitor who has been a familiar face on The North Face Frontier podium over the years, finished in second place with Switzerland’s Zoe Macgeorge in third.

First place in men’s snowboard went to another local legend with 41-year-old NZ rider Roland Morley-Brown putting his experience to good use, showcasing impeccable riding along with some expert knowledge of the course to claim his sixth podium finish at this event since 2015.

“I spend pretty much my whole season up here hiking around in all these chutes, I love it here,” he explained. “I’m the old dog so I definitely feel pressure to do well.”

Ronan Thompson, winner of the two-star event, was delighted to claim his first podium at a four-star event, finishing in second place with a fast run incorporating backside and frontside 360s.

“Finishing on the podium is insane,” he said. “The last time I did this comp I fell over. It was the same thing, I’d won the two-star competition beforehand but then I fell in the four-star so it’s an absolute pleasure to podium today, it means the world.”

Switzerland’s Niklas Meindl rounded out the men’s snowboard podium in third place.

Kiwi athletes went one-two in the final category of the day, men’s ski, with Blake Marshall putting his local knowledge to good use, finding all the best nooks and crannies and skiing an aggressive line which earned him the top score.

“It went to plan,” he said. “I was the first one to get into the waterfall section so I got some fresh snow. I’ve definitely skied that a lot of times, I know my way round there and it plays to my advantage.”

Ski racer turned freeride competitor and coach Ben Richards (NZ) was feeling some nerves with several of his young students watching on from the bottom of the course.
“I was actually kind of nervous, I had to practise what I preach to them,” he said.

His plan to channel his ski racing roots and ski a fast, fluid line almost backfired as he came in a little too hot and almost overshot most of the features he’d planned to hit.

“I was planning on doing a few more tricks but once I gained that much speed it was kind of hard to shut it down,” he explained. I did the 360 at the top of the course but after that I pretty much just had to point it downhill.”

Whether to plan or not, the judges liked the approach and awarded Richards second place with Henry Zakowski (USA) finishing in third.

The Winter Games NZ Freeride Events Get Underway with Thrilling Action at The North Face Frontier 2-Star

The first of the Winter Games NZ freeride events got underway today at The Remarkables Ski Field in Queenstown, with skiers and snowboarders competing in The North Face Frontier 2-star event. A long-running event on the Freeride World Qualifier international calendar and one of the first of the 2023 season, today’s competition once again saw a heavy-hitting field ready to unleash on the course venue in Shadow Basin despite some challenging snow and weather conditions.

The start list featured 76 competitors from a dozen different countries and a good mixture of young, up-and-coming riders and more experienced athletes using today’s event as a warmup for the 4-star competition later in the week. New Zealand athletes were on strong form and landed six out of the 12 podium places.

Icy underfoot and with snow showers coming in and out throughout the day, the decision was made for safety reasons to allow competitors to make an on-site course inspection rather than the usual visual-only inspection from the bottom of the course, and head judge Dion Newport warned riders to make smart decisions when tackling the exposed terrain.

Competitors were judged on the technicality of their line choice through the course venue, including their use of the natural features, and were rewarded for maintaining fluidity rather than hesitating before hitting features, and showing strong technique and control throughout their run, with points also awarded for ‘air and style’ including the size of any jumps, tricks and grabs.

Women’s snowboard was the first category of the day with Canada’s Jaimie Figueira topping the scoreboard with fast fluid riding at the top of the course, well-linked turns all the way down the venue and a small indy grab to finish her run.

“It was definitely pretty challenging out there, the snow was pretty rock solid,” Figuera explained after her run. “I had a couple of turns where I got bounced off the ground but I didn’t have any falls so I was stoked with that.”

Second place went to Josephine Wruck (AUS), with Zoe Macgeorge (SUI) in third.

Kiwis took a clean sweep of the men’s snowboard podium with Ronan Thompson once again taking out the top spot to back up his win at The North Face Frontier 2-star event in 2020. Coming hot out of the gate, Thompson impressed the judges with fast riding and a huge 360.

“That was tough out there,” said Thompson. “I just wanted to do the 360, that was my goal for the day. It was a real fast run out with not great snow but I’ve done that before, so I thought I’ll go with what I know.”

Scott Beacom finished in second place, also scoring highly for fast, fluid riding with solid airs and well executed tricks including a 180 at the bottom of the course. Max King finished third with a clean frontside 360 off a cliff at the bottom of the course a highlight in his run.

Kiwi athletes also went one-two in the women’s ski field with Jessie Violet in first place and Elke Marshall second. 19-year-old Jessie Violet, who has previously landed on the podium at junior freeride events, proved that she is ready to make her mark on a bigger stage, putting aside her concerns about the icy conditions and skiing an extremely fast, aggressive line from top to bottom of the course and incorporating a huge air into her run.

“The bottom half of the course is fun, but the top half is really challenging,” said Violet after her run. “Conditions were really icy but I thought my run was ok and I liked that bottom air.”

GB’s Rachel Little finished in third place in women’s ski.

Last category of the day, the men’s ski field saw some of the biggest and gnarliest tricks of today’s competition. Japan’s Tenra Katsuno described the course as “sharky” but didn’t let that stop him from launching an enormous backflip off a windlip and then backing it up with a double rock drop. Katsuno, who only made the step up from junior to senior level competition two years ago, impressed the judges with his fast, controlled skiing.

“I was just focusing on the windlip to start and hadn’t decided what I was going to do next, it all depended on how the windlip went,” Katsuno explained. “Once I’d done that I thought, ok here we go, let’s do some tricks.”

Kiwi Lach Powell picked up a second-place finish in men’s ski, making a crucial turn before the windlip feature before launching into a leftside 360 followed by a huge air. Third place went to Calum MacAllister from Great Britain who landed a solid air at the top of the course followed by a left 360 off the windlip into a tight, exposed chute. Had it not been for a small butt check he could have been a challenger for second place.

Next on the Winter Games NZ freeride programme is the 4-star event, which will be held on Thursday. Taking the competition standard up another few notches, only the best of the best are eligible to compete in FWQ 4* events. The course venue is the Alta Chutes, which with its steep, exposed terrain provides a formidable stage and the promise of some heart-stopping action.

Winter Games NZ is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest snow sports event, featuring 16 events across alpine, freeride and park and pipe disciplines between the 27th August and 11th September.
 
The North Face Frontier 2* Results:
Women’s Snowboard
Men’s Snowboard
Women’s Freeski
Men’s Freeski

Wānaka athletes top Freeski Slopestyle Podiums at Cardrona

The Cardrona FIS ANC Slopestyle Finals presented by La Roche-Posay were set to be held today at Cardrona, but once again our plans were thwarted by the weather. Low visibility that followed this mornings high winds meant the athletes couldn’t see far enough down the course to safely compete.
 
Local athletes Ruby Andrews and Luca Harrington topped the women’s and men’s Freeski Slopestyle. with results from qualification on Saturday used as the final results. 
  
At the end of the first run of qualifications Andrews was in second place and knew she had to do something special to secure the top spot; “My first run of qualification I put it down, and then one of my competitors went above me so I ended up putting down a switch misty 900 down which I have never done in competition before!”

“I am stoked, over the moon – this is my home mountain and coming away with a result like today, I couldn’t ask for anything better.” said Andrews.  

Andrew’s was joined on the podium by Yuna Koga of Japan and local up and comer Madeleine Disbrowe. 
 
Men’s Freeski Slopestyle winner Harrington said: “It definitely was challenging with the weather; qualification day was the best day we had so I just tried to put something down that was clean and turned out that it worked out in my favour, so I am pretty happy.”
 
Freeski judge Kat Alexander explained, “Luca’s first run was unreal, his right double cork 1260 tail grab was perfection and then he got massive amplitude on his switch right double cork 1260 on the final jump, that just blew us out of the water.”
 
Jesse Parkinson of Australia, winner of the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle, was a standout competitor in his field. The judges were really impressed with the backside triple 1440 he was stomping, the only competitor performing this massive trick.
 
Japanese riders Hiroaki Kunitake and Taiga Hasegawa both put down strong performances in the rail section, but without the huge trick Parkinson was throwing down they had to settle for second and third, respectively.
 
Mari Fukada, Japan, claimed to top spot on the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle podium. She was the only woman throwing down back-to-back 720s with good execution on the large jumps. Wānaka athletes Lucia Georgalli and Ava Beer finished in second and third, respectively. 
 
The Slopestyle wraps up the Cardrona FIS ANC Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Slopestyle presented by La Roche-Posay. 
 
Next on the Winter Games NZ calendar is the North Face Frontier 2* event which is happening today at The Remarkables, followed later in the week by the 4* event. 

Results

Team USA Sweep FIS ANC Women’s Freeski Halfpipe Podium

The Cardrona FIS ANC Halfpipe Finals presented by La Roche-Posay were set to be held today in Cardrona’s 22-foot Superpipe. Unfortunately, the wind had other ideas and halfway through the first run the decision was made to cancel the finals and take the results from Thursday’s qualifiers. 
 
The US Freeski Team made a clean sweep of the women’s Freeski Halfpipe Podium, with Hanna Faulhaber taking the top spot with an impressive score of 92.67, 13 points clear of her teammate Carly Margulies in second place. Riley Jacobs rounded out the US podium sweep in third. 
 
Head judge Tori Beattie explained that Hanna’s huge back-to-back flares, consistent amplitude and strong grabs made her stand out from the rest of field, impressing the judges. 
 
Hanna explained “I definitely laid down the run I was doing at the Winter Olympics and X Games, it’s always good to throw down as hard as you can. Sometimes you save stuff for finals to surprise the judges but from hearing that we might not have finals I pushed through and gave it all I had on Thursday.”
 
Cardrona local and Beijing 2022 Winter Olympian 16-year-old Gustav Legnavsky took the win in the Men’s Freeski Halfpipe category with an impressive run that included three double corks, scoring 94.33. Gustav was disappointed that the finals were cancelled, but nonetheless was stoked to take the win. 
 
Legnavsky said, “Since the Olympics I’ve been getting fired up wanting to have those better results, definitely feels a lot better and I have been more consistent. I am pretty excited, it’s great to get another gold back at my home mountain.”
 
Fellow Kiwi Ben Harrington finished in second place, right behind Legnavsky, with a score of 93 flat. Harrington, an X Games competitor, and Winter Olympian said “It’s good, Gustav is unreal at the moment, he is skiing super well, it’s really cool to get to ski with him, we’ve been able to ski together and push each other, it’s been really fun!” 
 
Matt Labaugh (USA) rounded out the Men’s Freeski Podium in third with a score of 92.00.
 
Gaon Choi of Korea was a standout competitor in the women’s Snowboard Halfpipe category from the second she dropped in. Choi impressed with judges with her amplitude and her ability to hold her grabs for the duration of her tricks. 
 
She explained to us how she loves coming to New Zealand to compete and is really pleased with her results here at the 2022 Winter Games NZ.  

Tsuki Yamazaki and Mion Kamimura, both of Japan, rounded out the podium in second and third, respectively.
 
Chaeun Lee, also of Korea, took the win in the men’s snowboard category, with Konosuke Murakami of Japan right on his heels. The judges explained that Lee and Murakami had huge amplitude, almost twice as big as the rest of the field and landed super technical runs.
 
16-year-old Kiwi Campbell Melville Ives rounded out the podium in third place. “We haven’t had any international athletes in a few years now so it’s really sick to be back competing with them.”

Results

Kiwi alpine ski racing superstar Alice Robinson back on top of the podium

Over 80 athletes from 13 nations descended on The Hurdle at Coronet Peak for the final day of alpine ski racing in the 2022 Winter Games NZ programme. On today’s schedule was the second FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Giant Slalom, rounding out the series.

Kiwi alpine ski racing superstar Alice Robinson has taken the win in the women’s field today, along with claiming the Yellow Bib for the Giant Slalom Australia New Zealand Cup. Andreas Zampa (SVK) has claimed the top spot in the men’s field, off the back of yesterday’s strong silver medal performance in the same discipline.

Another cold night produced fantastic conditions at Coronet peak, the snow on course was hard and fast, providing perfect ski racing conditions.

After the first run Robinson was sitting in fourth place, +0.84 behind Katie Hensien (USA), the current leader. A blinder of a second run saw Robinson close the time deficit and take the win by over almost half a second. Ava Sunshine (USA) finished in second place +0.49 seconds behind Robinson with Hensien in third, a mere two hundredths of a second behind teammate Sunshine.

At the bottom of the course an ecstatic Robinson said, “It feels so good, I am really happy with how I held myself today, first run was a little bit rusty and second run I just tried to get back to that usual race charge, I’m really happy.”

It has been a challenging FIS ANC series for Robinson, recording two Did Not Finish (DNF) results along with her third-place finish in Super G on Saturday. She explained “I just upped my concentration and started focusing more on the process and trusting my ability a bit more and hoping that if I skied well the results would come. Definitely a big mind change today from the last few days so I will have to keep working on that.”

Over in the men’s race, brothers Andreas and Adam Zampa (SVK) held the top two positions after run one, with Adam +0.26 behind younger brother Andreas. Yesterday’s Giant Slalom gold medalist Isaiah Nelson (USA) was sitting in third position, +0.41 behind the leader.

Andreas held his lead throughout the highly contested second run to take the win, with Nelson finishing in second, just +0.16 behind him. Adam had to settle for third place, +0.32 seconds behind his little brother Andreas.

“It feels really good, it is always fantastic to be in New Zealand and to do the races, so I am very happy with today’s victory.” Explained Andreas just minutes after his winning run.

Andreas, who finished in third place yesterday in the same discipline, explained “I was looking on yesterday’s video and thought that I could go a bit more direct and actually I lost so much time yesterday on the flats yesterday so today I think it was better.”

Today marks the end of the Alpine Ski Racing programme at the 2022 Winter Games NZ. Competition resumes on Thursday with the FIS ANC Halfpipe qualifiers, followed by the FIS ANC Slopestyle qualifiers on Friday. The finals will be held over the coming weekend. 

Candace Crawford claims third ANC victory at Winter Games NZ Giant Slalom

Following a race postponement due to poor visibility and soft snow conditions yesterday, day three of the Winter Games NZ dawned clear and sunny with cold overnight temperatures bringing the hard and fast snow conditions needed for ski racing. On today’s schedule at Coronet Peak ski field was the first of the two FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Giant Slaloms on the Winter Games schedule. 

The strong international field included athletes from 14 nations and featured a mix of experienced World Cup racers and some exciting up and coming talent. Canada’s Candace Crawford took home the win in the women’s field to back up her two first-place finishes in the Super-G, while Isaiah Nelson from the USA topped the men’s results in a hard-fought finish. 

Contested over two runs with the combined times determining the final placings, the Giant Slalom is a technical event which requires strength and precision. Today’s course was once again set on The Hurdle run with the steep, rolling terrain making for a fast and challenging course.

Crawford was back on top form today, skiing the fastest first run in the women’s field to give herself a 0.14s lead over Katie Hensien of the USA with Ava Sunshine (USA) sitting in third place.

“There were definitely a few rolls in there where it really swung and turned so you had to be prepared for that,” Crawford explained after her first run. “It was a game of where you could go on the safer side versus where you could really send it. Run two will be just going for it, not leaving anything out there but skiing solid.”

Run two got underway after a course reset with the start order for the top 30 fastest racers flipped. 30th out of the gate, Crawford made good on her race plan, charging through the course to finish in first place.

“It’s not an easy hill and you need to keep working and pushing and making speed and just having that mentality of putting it all out there,” she said.

“I feel pretty good. It’s a good step for my confidence and definitely what we’ve been working on. I know I can ski well; it’s just getting my head wrapped around the racing. I can be fast in training so it’s just transferring it over. The last two days have been a good step forward.”

Katie Hensien finished in second place 0.58s behind Crawford with Riikka Honkanen (FIN) in third 0.69s back. Piera Hudson was the top-placed Kiwi woman, finishing in eighth place, 1.49s off the lead. She was awarded the Janey Blair trophy for the fastest NZ woman in Giant Slalom.

Top women’s seed Kiwi Alice Robinson recorded a DNF on run one.

21-year-old US skier Isaiah Nelson has been on impressive form throughout the ANC series technical events, picking up a win and a fourth place in Slalom a week ago. He put together a strong first run to take the lead in the men’s field 0.05s ahead of Timon Haugan of Norway with Ian Gut (Liechtenstein) 0.13s behind in third.

“It’s pretty tough up there, there’s a lot of terrain,” Nelson commented after the first run. “Run two I’m hoping it’ll be pretty bumpy. I’ll be running 30th, I like when it’s a bit of a battle. Hopefully the snow gets a little bounced around and then I just want to ski with a lot of intensity and keep fighting. I know the top won’t feel very good for anybody, but I’ll just keep pushing.” 

In terms of a strategy, it proved to be a good one, with Nelson maintaining his lead and nailing down the win by a tenth of a second.

“Like I said after the first run, I was hoping for a fight, and it definitely was,” he confirmed. “The conditions were pretty bumpy on the top and a little spring-like on the bottom. It was a pretty deep groove. I skied smart at the top, I think; I didn’t push to my limit up there but coming off the pitch I was looking for speed and I felt I did a decent job carrying it across the flats. I was happy to stay in the lead, it was a close race so I’m feeling happy.”

Timon Haugan also maintained his form on run two to finish in second place, while Andreas Zampa (SVK) was able to improve on his fourth place run one placing to finish on the podium in third place, one hundredth of a second behind Haugan.

Willis Feasey, winner of the ANC Super G races, was the fastest of the Kiwi men today, finishing in 16th place 2.88s behind the lead and was awarded the Pieter Small Smith trophy for the fastest NZ man in Giant Slalom.Winter Games NZ is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest snow sports event, featuring 16 events across alpine, freeride and park and pipe disciplines between the 27th August and 11th September. Racing continues tomorrow at Coronet Peak with a second Giant Slalom race.

Candace Crawford, Willis Feasey, Claim Back-to-Back Super-G Wins on Day One of Winter Games NZ

The opening events of the 2022 Winter Games NZ got underway today with alpine ski racers competing in two FIS Continental Cup Super G races at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area.  New Zealand’s Willis Feasey and Canada’s Candace Crawford each claimed back-to-back wins in the respective men’s and women’s fields, making the best of a tight, technical course which got the better of several other competitors.

Combining the speed of Downhill with the technical characteristics of a Giant Slalom, and contested over a single long run, the Super Giant Slalom (Super-G) makes for exhilarating viewing. The course was set on The Hurdle run which, with its steep pitch and natural rollers, gave racers every opportunity to put the hammer down and post fast times.

“It was a really fun slope, it’s such a good race hill, Coronet Peak really turned it on. It’s pretty special to win both races here today,” said Feasey who spent 10 years training on the hill as a member of the national team before taking up a building apprenticeship earlier this year. The 2018 Olympian was very pleased to find himself in the top spot, one day shy of his 30 birthday.

“The top section felt really good, I was really happy, there’s a big cranking turn right at the top and I managed to nail that and carry quite a lot of speed into the pitch,” Feasey explained after the first race.

Feasey proved that he can still be competitive against strong international World Cup racers like Slovakia’s Adam Zampa who finished second, 0.24s behind Feasey in race one and 0.58s in race two. Teo Zampa, youngest of the three Zampa brothers, was the third-place finisher in race one, 0.32s off the lead. On race two Garret Driller (USA) rounded out the podium, 1.10s behind Feasey.

“It feels really good to get that result, a wee bit unexpected,” said Feasey. 

Candace Crawford was also pleased to be showing good early season form to take out to wins in the women’s field. She commented:

“I’m pretty happy, it’s early in the season for me coming from North America. I don’t normally start until October, November so it’s good to get a few races under the belt prior to the Northern Hemisphere season starting to build confidence and figure out a few things. It feels good and I can build on that and get prepared for the World Cup season in December.”

“This morning we had a few delays to the start but you just had to stay relaxed and go with the flow. The snow was a little soft because the sun had been on it all morning. You just had to really go for it even if it didn’t feel that good.” 

Crawford finished race one 1.67s ahead of Slovakia’s Rebeka Jancova in second and 3.21s ahead of Finland’s Charlotte Henriksson in third. In race two, the USA’s Ava Sunshine finished in second place, 0.30s off the lead, with New Zealand’s Alice Robinson 0.32s back in third place.

Top seed and hometown hero Robinson, didn’t quite find the form that she would have hoped for from her current world ranking of 17 in the Super G discipline, posting a DNF on run one but making the podium on race two.

“I just got late and couldn’t make the gate,” she explained after race one.  “You’ve got to be tactical, the course is very tight, like a GS course, I tried to be clean and fast but it wasn’t the right goal for the course I don’t think.” 

Race one on today’s schedule also served as the New Zealand Super G National Championships and New Zealand Super G National Junior Championships. Michol Hinton claimed both the women’s NZ Super G National and Junior titles. Willis Feasey claimed the men’s Super G National title with Keir Roberts crowned Junior Champion.

Winter Games NZ is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest snow sports event, featuring 16 events across alpine, freeride and park and pipe disciplines between the 27th August and 11th September. Racing continues tomorrow at Coronet Peak with the Giant Slalom.

Winter Games NZ collaborates with The Ladylike Movement freeski and snowboard events
 

Winter Games NZ is proud to announce their collaboration with the ‘Girl, Get After It’ event series, an all-female park day for freestyle skiers and snowboarders, hosted by The Ladylike Movement. 
 
The Ladylike Movement is an organisation who have set out with a mission to challenge the societal norms placed on women to be poised and collected by breaking stereotypes.  Girl, Get After It – Te Ika-a-Māui (one of their events) is set to be held at Tūroa on Saturday the 20th of August. 
 
The purpose of Girl, Get After It is to inspire women (ages 8+) to challenge themselves in a supportive and encouraging environment, increase confidence and create a sense of community up the mountain. 
 
Laura Wotton, founder of The Ladylike Movement and current World Cup Freeski athlete, explains “I have always wanted to create spaces that I needed and would have loved to see when I was first starting out in freeskiing. My overall dream is to see an increase in female participation in both recreational and competitive freeskiing and snowboarding.” 
 
The Girl, Get After It events are coached by former and current Kiwi competitive freeskiers and snowboarders, and in 2022 includes Beijing 2022 Winter Olympian Margaux Hackett. 
 
“The reason it’s important for me to include former and current competitive snow sports athletes as our coaches is so I can give these women the opportunity to be and lead the change we want to see in our own industry,” said Wotton. 
 
Marty Toomey, Winter Games NZ CEO, says, “ It was an easy decision for Winter Games NZ to collaborate with Girl, Get After It and The Ladylike Movement to support them to deliver events around New Zealand. Programmes that inspire young women towards a career in competitive snow sports are worth supporting in my mind, we look forward to following the progress of the attendees as they take steps along that journey.”
 
Wotton excitedly explained, “From a logistics perspective the support from Winter Games NZ provides us with the opportunity to host more events across Aotearoa. Winter Games NZ is well known in the snow sports world, so it means a lot to me to receive recognition and support from them. With this partnership I look forward to the moves we can make within the industry going forward.”

Winter Games NZ is back!

Winter Games NZ is thrilled to announce the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest snow sports event is back in 2022. The Games will include 16 events across alpine, freeride and freestyle (park and pipe) disciplines between the 27th August and 11th September. 
 
Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables will host the best of New Zealand’s snow sports athletes, as well as welcoming back international competitors for the first time since 2019. 

“We are excited to bring back the Winter Games NZ this year and look forward to providing a platform that allows kiwi athletes to benchmark themselves against their international competition across many disciplines and events. We are committed to a four-year plan, which will see Winter Games NZ growing year on year towards the Milano Cortina 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
 
“We love showcasing the Southern Lakes to the world and want to encourage as many people as possible to watch our events live on mountain. For those who can’t be there in person we will be producing amazing content for our digital and television audiences,” commented Marty Toomey, CEO, Winter Games NZ. 
 
“With so many events to choose from across our world class venues, the 2022 Winter Games NZ will be quite the celebration.”
 
The events will kick off with Alpine Ski racing at Coronet Peak on Saturday the 27th August. There will be two FIS Super G Continental Cup races on day one and will be followed by two FIS Continental Cup Giant Slalom races on the 28th and 29th August. 

Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Slopestyle action follows at Cardrona Alpine Resort from the 1st to the 4th of September. These FIS Continental Cups will draw a big crowd with kiwi stars dropping in alongside their team mates and other international competitors. 
 
The North Face Frontier is back between Saturday 3rd and Thursday 8th September, at The Remarkables. The event will be hosted within a 6-day weather window with the two best snow and weather days identified for the action. This kiwi freeride institution features 2* and 4* Freeride World Tour Qualifier events and will attract many names you now see on the Freeride World Tour. The 2* event will be held in Shadow Basin, while the 4* event will be hosted in the Alta Chutes with Lake Alta providing an epic viewing platform. 
 
The 16-day snow sports spectacle will be rounded off with Big Air and Park Jam events at Cardrona Alpine Resort. The format for these events is being co-designed with athletes to give them their best chance to demonstrate their incredible talent.