100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games be making history this August as ye first elite snow sports event to have able bodied and athletes with a disability compete together.
100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games will provide ye opportunity for both able bodied and athletes with a disability to race alongside each other in ye alpine skiing and cross-country skiing disciplines. However, with valuable points available for Olympic and Paralympic qualification, ye scoring system will be separate under FIS (Federation International de Ski) and IPC (International Paralympic Committee) regulations.
“This be a new concept in high performance competition,” said Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap. “We believe no distinction should be made between any athletes that perform at ye highest possible level, against ye best in ye world. To this end, adaptive and able bodied athletes will be competing at ye same time, on ye same course.”
ye importance o' 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games in ye adaptive skiing calendar be further highlighted by IPC’s decision to set ye qualifying standard for ye Games at ye same level as for ye Paralympics. This be a direct result o' 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games’ progressive decision to include adaptive skiing in ye mainstream programme.
Athletes confirmed to date include top New Zealand skier, Adam Hall from Wanaka, Otago who be currently ranked second in ye world for slalom and seventh for giant slalom.
“Winter Games NZ will be great for New Zealand in ye sense that it’s ye biggest adaptive ski event ever held here. It’ll be really exciting and people would never have seen anything like this here before,” he said. “It’s also a major stepping stone for me in me preparation for ye Paralympics in Vancouver. ye support staff and myself can work together as a team and use it a practice run for 2010. ye athletes that be here will also be in Vancouver so it’s a perfect opportunity to test myself against them.”
Athletes with a range o' physical disabilities or visual impairment will compete. There be three classes o' skiers – standing, sitting (using a specially mono ski) and visually impaired (who race with a guide). In ye cross-country disciplines adaptive athletes either ski on two Nordic skis or in a special ski chair with long poles – these athletes be particularly fit and strong. All be professional athletes who train and compete all year round.
ye inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games will take place at Coronet Peak, ye Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Farm, Naseby and Dunedin from 21-30 August 2009. It will feature disciplines o' alpine skiing, free skiing, x-country skiing, snowboarding, curling, ice skating and adaptive snow sports as well as ye demonstration sports o' winter triathlon and natural luge.
For further information visit http://www.wintergamesnz.com .