Olympic skiers' results at opposite extremes of field

Two overseas skiers who have trained at Coronet Peak had widely differing results at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, last week.

Ted Ligety, (29) the United States skier who won the gold medal in the men's giant slalom was a member of the US ski team which trained at Coronet Peak in 2012.

At the time, he told the Otago Daily Times the focus was on the fundamentals of giant slalom and slalom, and becoming used to new skis which were ''straighter and longer''.

He also said because of the World Cup skiing programme, the US team's main training fields were in New Zealand, Chile and Europe.

Ligety has trained in Queenstown on other occasions with the US team, many of whom in 2012 said that not only were the skiing conditions favourable, so, too, were the pies at the Arrowtown Bakery.

Meanwhile, having skied her first competitive race just six months ago at Coronet Peak, Thai skier Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn can now say she has been an Olympic athlete.

Vanakorn (35), who is also internationally recognised as a violinist, competed last week in the women's giant slalom, coming last of the 67 finishers.

She is based in Europe but was born to a Thai father and holds a Thai passport.

She became the third person to represent Thailand at the Winter Olympics.

She competed in the giant slalom in the FIS New Zealand Championships for Thailand at Coronet Peak.

Talking to the Otago Daily Times before her Coronet Peak race she acknowledged: ''To start ski training with only six months to go before the next Winter Olympics in Sochi is a big challenge.''


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