Lake Wanaka is fast establishing a reputation as the first choice for off-season training for top international skiers and snowboarders. Cardrona Alpine Resort, Snow Farm, Snow Park and Treble Cone have all confirmed they will host Olympic and National snow sports teams who look to continue training through their summer months.

Lake Wanaka’s resorts are also included on the competition circuit of many prestigious international snow sport events attracting further elite skiers and boarders here to compete.

Snow Park NZ provides the stage for the Burton New Zealand Open (29 July – 2 Aug) with Slopestyle, Quarter Pipe and Half Pipe competitions promising big air from snowboarders at the top of the game. Next up at Snow Park NZ is the Billabong Snowstock (14-15 August) incorporating a Big Air competition for international and New Zealand snowboarders.

The Volkl Free Ski Open (20-29 August), attracts elite freeskiers from around the world to test their skills at all the resorts. Giant Slalom and Slalom skiers from Australasia are joined by Asian and European athletes to compete in the Continental Cup (30-31 August) at Treble Cone.

Snow Sports NZ will stage a FIS Continental Cup slopestyle event (3 Sept) at Cardrona Alpine Resort. It will be the only slopestyle event in the Southern Hemisphere to carry coveted FIS points. A few days later Snow Sports NZ will host the first event of the 2008-09 FIS World Cup snowboarding calendar, also at Cardrona. The LG FIS Snowboard World Cup Half Pipe (6-7 Sept) will feature some of the world’s top snowboarding talents.

Teams and individuals confirmed to train at Treble Cone include Alpine Skiing World Cup holder Bode Miller (USA) as well as Austria, Norway, Germany and America’s national teams. Olympic Teams from China, Japan, Australia and Italy will train in the freestyle park and also Kelly Clark Olympic gold medalist with further teams heading to Snow Park NZ once the superpipe has been primed. Cardrona Alpine Resort will host teams from Canada, Sweden, and US throughout the season with many national snowboard teams training during late August, early September.

Many international teams will also be drawn to the area in preparation for the Winter Games NZ 2009, with over 600 athletes expected to compete from Pacific Rim countries and beyond. Lake Wanaka’s resorts will take centre stage for many of the skiing and snowboarding elements of the Games.

The resorts work to a tight schedule rotating the teams’ training times to ensure ski field visitors are not affected by the channels reserved for training.

John Alldred, CEO of Lake Wanaka Tourism welcomes teams and events to the area, “Having so many international teams and events at Wanaka’s resorts is testament to the world-class facilities we have available to snow sports enthusiasts and professionals,” he said.

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