Next year's Winter Games New Zealand will be a platform for
national and international competitors on the road to the
2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Games chairman Sir
Eion Edgar says.
He appeared at the Local Government New Zealand conference in
Queenstown this week to address delegates from New Zealand's
78 councils about the Games' progress.
Speaking after the conference, he said the ultimate aim was
to cement the Games as "the premier winter event outside of
Five World Cup events were confirmed for 2013 and another was
expected to be confirmed.
"No other country in the world has six World Cups."
One of the main aims of the games was to attract six of the
top 10 competitors in the world to compete in each of those
Ice events previously held in Dunedin were cut from the
programme and Methven was also cut as a hosting venue.
"When we did the research after, [they] said we'd rather stay
in Wanaka or Queenstown so, unfortunately, we had to pull
The biennial event was also an outlet for New Zealand
competitors to train among the best as they prepared for the
Delegates at the local government conference were interested
in holding similar events in their regions and inquired how
they would do so.
"It wasn't easy to answer because we are in the unique
position of having snow," Sir Eion said.
Next year's Games would endeavour to have "a larger downtown
programme in Queenstown and Wanaka" to ensure people did not
have to travel to ski fields to join in.
Attracting a viewing audience of 756 million people, and with
800 athletes from 41 countries, last year's Winter Games was
deemed a huge success for the area and New Zealand.
Sir Eion emphasised the economic benefits of such an event
and said domestic visitors were expected to number 2000 and
This would rise to 5000 for domestic and 3000 international
The projected competitor numbers for 2013 are 1000, and 1100