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all photos: GETTY Images
Winter Games NZ has confirmed it will host IPC (International Paralympic Committee) World Cups in alpine slalom, giant slalom as well as para snowboard cross in its 2013 event next August. The three IPC World Cup events join five FIS World Cup events bringing the total number of World Cup events, to eight as part of Winter Games NZ 2013. World Cups are the highest level of international competition outside the Olympics.
The para snowboard cross World Cup first made an appearance at Winter Games NZ in 2011 when inspirational women’s world champion Amy Purdy (USA) competed, along with 2009 world champion, Tyler Mosher (CAN). The addition of two further IPC World Cups further cements Winter Games’ position as an event dedicated to delivering an elite sporting event to able bodied and adaptive athletes together.
“We strongly believe no distinction should be made between any athletes that perform at the highest possible level, against the best in the world,” said Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap. “The last two Games have shown how well combining able bodied and adaptive athletes in the same competition on the same courses works and we continue to work for even greater opportunities for these athletes.
Paralympics New Zealand CEO Fiona Allan, said, “The inclusion of the IPC World Cups for Slalom, Giant Slalom and Para snowboard cross in next year’s Winter Games provides the opportunity for disabled athletes to perform in a fully inclusive event. It will be an opportunity for athletes to earn valuable qualification points necessary for consideration for selection for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games. Paralympics New Zealand hopes that the hosting of this event in New Zealand will inspire a generation of Kiwi athletes to be future Paralympians.”
Paralympic gold medallist, New Zealand’s Adam Hall, said the inclusion of IPC World Cups at Winter Games NZ was a very positive move for the sport.
“This is great for New Zealand, Winter Games and the athletes from throughout the world being able to help towards qualifying for Sochi. With the event being a World Cup this will help attract so many more athletes from around the globe to come and compete. Personally for me I am very excited. To have a World Cup here at home is going to be an amazing feeling. It will give New Zealand a real taste of what high performance winter Paralympic athletes are about and will be very entertaining to watch. And of course to have the World Cup season started here in New Zealand is an incredible move for New Zealand and will give everyone a chance to see what I am up against heading into Sochi as I would bet there would be the majority of my top rivals traveling down here.”
Winter Games NZ returns to New Zealand in August 2013, acting as a launch pad to the 2014 Winter Olympics with the best of the world’s elite winter sports athletes. For further information, visit www.wintergamesnz.com.