LAKE WANAKA, NZ (26 August 2012) - Head coach of USA’s Freeski Team, Andrew Woods, says quality halfpipes and terrain parks at Wanaka’s resorts provide a perfect training ground for the US team who base themselves here each year for their “summer” training.
“Events such as Winter Games NZ and The North Face Freeski Open are definitely a big attraction for us,” said Woods. “However, the halfpipes and parks that the resorts have are very good. We would likely come down here for training during this time of year regardless.”
For many on the team, Wanaka has become a second home. This is Gus Kenworthy’s fourth consecutive season training here and Torin Yater-Wallace and current Overall AFP World Champion Devin Logan’s third.
Having come from an unusually warm summer in the States the athletes are still adjusting to the winter temperatures, but have managed to take time after skiing to enjoy activities such as tennis and the skate park.
Woods says, “Every place is fun for its little differences, but Wanaka is probably one of the most visually gorgeous places that we visit. The lake at the edge of town is very unique and nowhere is crowded. Some of our favourite local ‘delicacies’ are ginger beer, meat pies, and, everyone’s favourite, a flat white with a dash of sugar.”
The team took a day off to find adrenaline in another form, jet boating on the Matukituki River, courtesy of Wanaka River Journeys after Logan and Yater-Wallace claimed the titles, at the Winter Games FIS Freestyle Ski Halfpipe World Cup, the first event of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic qualifying period.
Other teams confirmed to train and compete at the Wanaka ski fields this winter include: German, Slovakian, British, US, French, Korean, Belgian, Australian, Spanish, Chinese and New Zealand at Cardrona Alpine Resort, the women’s Austrian ski team at Treble Cone, the Canadian, Russian and Polish teams at the Snow Farm and the Dutch, Polish, Italian and Finnish teams at Snow Park NZ
Photo caption: USA Freestyle Ski Team enjoying a jet boat journey in the Matukituki Valley near Lake Wanaka
Credit: Andy Woods