Today (Wednesday November 1st) marks 100 days to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games and New Zealand’s athletes are gearing up for the Northern Hemisphere season following successful spring camps at home.
Nine athletes have been conditionally selected to the New Zealand Team with further PyeongChang 2018 nominations and selections to take place between November and January.
Freeski halfpipe athlete Miguel Porteous (18 years, selected) leaves for the Northern Hemisphere on Friday November 3rd to put the final touches on his runs.
“We’re definitely into the final countdown now. I’ve been training really hard to put together a new run which I’m really happy with so I’m looking forward to working on that,” said Miguel.
Above: Athletes Nico and Miguel Porteous
Although his younger brother Nico has also been selected to the team, Miguel says there won’t be any sibling rivalry in PyeongChang.
“It’s great to have Nico there, we compete together at almost every competition and we drive each other on, if there’s anyone I want to see do well it’s him and I know he feels the same about me so it’s going to be great competing with him."
Snow Sports NZ Head Park & Pipe Coach Tom Willmott says the park and pipe team had a fantastic spring training camp in the Cardrona Valley throughout October. The training was helped by a massive landing airbag (23 metres across, 60 metres long) which allows athletes to perfect new tricks before landing them on snow.
“The installation of the progression airbag in the Soho Basin has really complemented the usual world-class training facilities we use at Cardrona including the pipe, big air and slopestyle course.”
“With athletes taking new tricks from bag to snow and various other achievements, the team is sitting in a good position leading in to upcoming Olympic qualifying events and training camps, to prepare to peak in PyeongChang in February,” said Tom.
Ski cross racer Jamie Prebble (26 years, selected) and snowboard cross racer Duncan Campbell (20 years, working towards qualification) have completed their spring camp at Mt Hutt on a course built specifically for them. The course replicated several of the more unique features of the track in PyeongChang and provided excellent training.
Alpine Ski Racers Adam Barwood (25 years, working towards qualification) and Willis Feasey (25 years, working towards qualification) are already overseas and set to compete on the World Cup tour. Their first event in Soelden, Austria was scheduled for last Sunday (29 October) but was cancelled due to extreme weather.
Several of the younger selected team members now have NCEA exams, including Finn Bilous (18 years), Nico Porteous (15 years), Zoi Sadowski Synnott (16 years) and Tiarn Collins (17 years). They’ll fly to the Northern Hemisphere following their exams.
Above: In the first NZOC campaign video for PyeongChang 2018 some of New Zealand’s top winter athletes tell us what #EarnTheFern means to them.PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games