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Mt Hutt to host international Olympic freestyle training camp

September 18, 2013 Ski No Comments Email Email

Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area is to host an elite freestyle training camp for Olympic athletes.

The ski area has been chosen to host the training camp from early October and the camp will run past the end of the season to mid November.

Mt Hutt Ski Area Manager James McKenzie said the fact that the ski area had been approached by park and pipe design and construction specialists Development Snowparks to host the camp was testament to the standard of facilities on offer and an “exceptional” snow base.

Thirty athletes and their support crews from all around the world will base themselves in the resort ski town of Methven for the camp, seen as a last opportunity for gold medal contenders to train before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Mr McKenzie said it wasn’t often such an “exciting” opportunity presented itself.

“It is quite rare for Mt Hutt to attract this calibre of freestyle athlete so we are all very excited about getting the chance to see them practicing tricks at the leading edge of the sport,” he said.

“This will be the largest gathering of world-class athletes at a training camp in New Zealand before to the Olympic events.

“It’s thanks to our exceptional snow base and facilities that Development Snowparks chose Mt Hutt, as opposed to ski fields elsewhere in the South Island, which is a real endorsement of what we have here,” said Mr McKenzie.

Athletes attending the camp from Europe, USA, Japan and Australia will include current half pipe Olympic gold medallist Torah Bright from Australia and Burton International team rider Danny Davis of the USA.

Development Snowparks will manage the grooming, building and maintenance of a ‘super pipe’, and modify and maintain existing advanced freestyle terrain, said Mr McKenzie. Access to the training area after the ski area closes will be by snowmobile.

“As we’re extending the Hutt snow season to October 13 to include the full two weeks of the October school holidays, it will be a fantastic opportunity for our guests to also see these guys training and in action,” said Mr McKenzie.

Mr McKenzie said economic benefits for the local and extended community in Canterbury were also significant.

“This camp will attract a lot of media attention and I think the Methven community, and of course Mt Hutt staff, will be pulling out all the stops to make it a huge success.”

Mt Hutt is currently enjoying a 270cm upper mountain base and 235cm on the lower mountain. For daily updated snow conditions at Mt Hutt and further information go to www.nzski.com

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