Swiss ski camp step to Olympics

Hamish Garrick has the Winter Olympics in his sights and is working hard to get there.

Tomorrow he will leave for Obersaxen in Switzerland, where he will participate in a training camp run by former Queenstown ski coach Grant Stockman until early March, with the focus on the Winter Games next year but also the 2018 Winter Olympics.

''I'm going to try for the 2018 [Olympics] - I'll be 21 then - but if not, [the Olympics] four years after,'' Hamish said.

The 16-year-old Wakatipu High School student has been skiing since he was 3 and for the past three years ski training and schooling during the winter months have combined to create an exhausting schedule.

On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays he, along with other promising young athletes, would train from 8am to 12pm ''then come down and go to regular school until 3.25pm''.

''After that we would have a teacher that stays with us in a room until 6pm."

He admitted the schedule was ''extremely tiring'' but he had been consistently improving, which puts him closer and closer towards his ultimate goal.

''I've always had a goal to go to the Olympics."

He competes in the alpine races of giant slalom, slalom and super giant slalom and when in Queenstown is a competitor in competitions such as the Australia New Zealand Cup, held at Coronet Peak this year.

Last year was the first time Stockman had run the camp, for around 15 young athletes from throughout New Zealand, and this will be Hamish's second year at the camp and his fourth trip to Switzerland for skiing.

Fellow Wakatipu High School student Emma Gamson will also be heading for Switzerland. This will be her first time at the training camp.

Hamish's father, Alan Garrick, said skiing for Hamish was ''everything at the moment'' and despite the sport being ''incredibly expensive'' said it was great to see the hard work put in by his son and others paying off.

Mr Garrick said while he visited Hamish for a couple of weeks during his last stint in Switzerland, this year he was not planning a trip.