February 2022,

HPSNZ update February 2022

HPSNZ update Febraury 2022 thumbnail - snowboarder lands a jump

From the Chief Executive

Kia ora tatou,

Welcome to our first HPSNZ Update for the new year. I hope you enjoyed your well earned rest over the break and had a chance to recharge the batteries.

Though we continue to face uncertainty due to COVID-19 and the impact of the Omicron variant, what an exciting year it will be for high performance sport.

We’re just two days away from the start of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games closely followed by the Winter Paralympic Games in March. Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is on in August and New Zealand is hosting both the Cricket and Rugby Women’s World Cup events here in New Zealand this year.

Beijing is the focus of today’s email and we hope you enjoy the videos released to celebrate our New Zealand athletes, who have produced some stunning results in lead up events, and what goes on behind the scenes to support them in being their best.

At the end of last year I thanked you for your perseverance in dealing with the many curveballs thrown at us in 2021. As we are already seeing, 2022 will challenge us in new ways.

However together in partnership I hope we can make the most of the many opportunities that lie ahead.

Kia hari te tau hou – Happy new year.

Ngā mihi

Video – transport yourself and experience ‘The Run’

Shot from The Run media piece

Strap yourself in for this one. ‘The Run’ showcases some of New Zealand’s top snow sport talent and gives you a taste of the speed, skill and commitment that goes into a run on skis, snowboard, and sit-ski.

‘The Run’ is 80-seconds long and is being promoted on a range of channels leading into the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games to get New Zealanders ready for the action. It’s a shout-out of support for our athletes, coaches and support staff in Beijing. Good luck from all of us.

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Ten athletes receive PM Scholarship Internship Pilot places 

Athletes pose by a geometric wall

HPSNZ is pleased to announce the recipients of 10 paid internship opportunities available through a new Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarship Internship Pilot running in 2022. Ten athletes from seven sports have been named, including multiple Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games medalists. Each will undertake a paid internship with a partner organisation or business aligned to their chosen area of career interest and tertiary education.

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Video – the fascinating realm of wearable trackers, data and insights 

A skiier holds a wearable tech device in the palm of his hand

“How do we monitor the stress on our park and pipe athletes to keep them fit and healthy?”

In this clip Cameron Ross, Performance and Technique Analyst for HPSNZ and Sean Thompson, Coach of PyeongChang 2018 bronze medallist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott describe how athletes wear a tracker that provides specifically-designed data to help monitor, adjust and optimise training and physical wellbeing. Fascinating stuff – take a look.

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Nic Cavanagh on the Beijing build-up

Nic Cavanagh in black and white

Thirteen of New Zealand’s top talent in snow sports are either in or on their way to China ready to kick off the event they’ve had firmly in their sights for four years – the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. The Paralympic Winter Games follow closely with three New Zealanders in action.

The Kiwis’ results on the world stage have been historic in recent years, garnering increasing media attention as the Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games approach. Arguably the 2022 team is stronger than any other Snow Sports NZ has ever sent. Chief Executive Nic Cavanagh, who has been embedded in the programme for around a decade, spoke to us recently about what’s contributed to being in this position.

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Video – Designing the optimal run for the Winter Olympic Games

Nico Porteous performs a trick in the air

“It all starts on paper. From the paper we bring it to the trampoline, from the trampoline to air bags, from the air bags to the half pipe.” Tommy Pyatt, coach of freeski half pipe athlete Nico Porteous, outlines the team effort that goes into designing the optimal run for the Olympic Winter Games.

Nico Porteous became New Zealand’s youngest ever Olympic Winter Games medallist when he won bronze in PyeongChang 2018. He heads into Beijing 2022 as Freeski Halfpipe world champion, secured at the 2021 World Championships, as well as a win at Mammoth Mountain Freeski and Snowboard World Cup, and a successful defence of his superpipe crown at the X Games Aspen in January 2022.

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