Coronet Peak is once more to become the hub of international race training as it welcomes back the stars of the Vancouver Winter Olympics to its slopes.
Olympic Gold Medalists, Lindsey Vonn (USA), Bode Miller (USA), Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway), and Viktoria Rebensburg and Maria Riesch from Germany are among the skiers booked to train in the Rocky Gully Race Arena at Coronet Peak this winter.
Other Olympic and World Cup medalists Andrew Weibrecht (USA), Eric Guay (CAN), Julia Mancuso (USA), Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) and Tina Maze (SLO) are also among the line up set to begin preparations for the competitive season.
The podium dominating teams, USA, Canada, Swiss, Germany, Norway are all confirmed to be using “The Peak” as their Southern Hemisphere 2010 training destination.
US Ski Team Head Coach Sasha Rearick described Coronet Peak as an “amazing facility” and life in Queenstown for the athletes as “fantastic”.
“Coronet Peak rocks for race training! It has everything we need... You can get world class training in the morning then go downtown and continue with dryland training or play a game of golf, tennis and some of the athletes are into photography – you don’t get that in too many places.”
Coronet Peak’s Head of Race and Events, Richard Murphy, said the athletes are expected to be based in Queenstown from the last week of July through till September.
“There is massive excitement surrounding the teams’ arrivals this season. After the great successes of some of our returnees at the Vancouver Olympics, we are really looking forward to hosting our FIS Ski Races and training camps that are key to these teams and athletes’ early season preparation.”
Coronet Peak has been the main Southern Hemisphere training centre for the US Alpine Ski Team for around 18 years and continues to be the number one training destination for many other alpine nations’ athletes and teams.
“These training camps are crucial for the individual athletes and teams’ planning. While Coronet Peak is treated mainly as a training destination, some of the elite athletes will also choose to compete in races hosted here. They will use these to get back in the ‘start gate’ and enter ‘race mode’ once again after some time off from rigorous World Cup and Europa Cup race schedules in North America and Europe.”
“Coronet Peak is favored by the athletes for its consistent snowmaking, ability to inject all training hills, quick turnaround for athletes on Rock Gully T Bar and the Coronet Express, its Rolling Terrain and reliable weather patterns.”
Mr. Murphy said it’s also important to note the impact the visiting teams have on New Zealand’s winter athletes.
“Coronet is also the main training ground of our NZ National Alpine team and it gives them the opportunity to race and train with the world’s best. The NZ Team is currently training hard on perfect conditions under the reigns of National Team Coach Nils Coberger in Rocky Gully and await their arrival.”
Races which will be held at Coronet Peak include the Japanese FIS Cup, New Zealand Nationals and The Australia New Zealand Cup.