Treble Cone world cup thrills Murphy
World Cup para snowboarding is back on the 2017 Winter Games NZ programme, after a five year hiatus.
Professional adaptive snowboarder Carl Murphy is delighted with the announcement by Winter Games NZ and Treble Cone Ski Area.
Para snowboarding was held for the first time at the 2011 Winter Games. It has not been on the calendar since then because the Snow Park venue closed.
Murphy said snowboarding was a growing sport on the Paralympic schedule.
‘‘It is awesome to see Winter Games NZ host a World Cup on my doorstep in 2017.
‘‘For me to be able to race a World Cup at home is very exciting. Lining up against the best para snowboarders with Wanaka in the background will be pretty motivating and I will have a slight advantage by not having to travel long distances to compete. Knowing the Treble Cone terrain so well also has its upside,’’ Murphy said.
Winter Games NZ sports manager Iona Bentley said it was fantastic that Treble Cone was hosting the 2017 event and exciting for the games to be able to spread the sports programme across the region’s venues.
Treble Cone marketing and sales manager Sophie Luther said the Para-Snowboard World Cup was a logical extension of the annual Treble Cone Banked Slalom.
‘‘We were looking to build on that event and at the same time were very keen to be involved with Winter Games NZ, which is recognised as the premier snow sports event in the Southern Hemisphere.
‘‘It seemed a perfect fit and by hosting the World Cup we can provide both New Zealand and international para athletes with the chance to train at Treble Cone and compete in a world-class event,’’ Luther said.
The World Cup Banked Slalom will be an important opportunity for Murphy to qualify for the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea.
He has successfully returned to international competition after an injury break.
The 2015 X-Games silver medallist ruptured his left knee in January 2015 and then injured it again in February this year.
The 39-year-old said he expected a strong field of international riders at the Winter Games.
Wanaka Paralympian snowboarder Carl Murphy.