Queenstown Awards Ceremony

While in New Zealand, we generally do strength in the city of Wanaka because it is only thirty minutes from the Snow Farm. It is right (North) at the bottom of the access road. Because my teammate Andy Newell won the New Zealand Winter Games Sprint yesterday, he had to attend the awards ceremony in Queenstown which is the opposite direction from Wanaka. So, we all headed to Queenstown for strength at a very nice recreation center that the staff of the Snow Farm told us about. We should have gone swimming while we were there.

Queenstown Recreation Center

At the gym we ran into some guys from the U.S. Alpine Ski Team.

U.S. Alpine Ski Team Lifting in New Zealand

I am friends with a lot of those guys, as many of them train in Park City. I was already planning to go hang out with them tomorrow. It was fun to run into them. Here is Alpine tech skier Colby Granstrom doing single leg Romanian dead lifts:

Colby Granstom Single Leg Romanian Dead Lifts

After strength we went to the awards. In the past, the races we’ve done in New Zealand have been very casual and low key. They are now much bigger. The organizers are trying hard to grow the New Zealand Winter Games into a premier snow sports event. Yesterday was the first day of the games, so Newell’s awards ceremony was combined with the opening ceremonies. There were singers and dancers…

New Zealand Winter Games Awards Dancers

…and lots of people spectating. Plus the whole event was broadcast on TV.

New Zealand Winter Games Awards Crowd

Here is the women’s podium with Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk in first, Olympic medalist Slovakian biathlete Anastazia Kuzmina in second (right) and Canadian Daria Gaiazovz in third:

New Zealand Winter Games 2013 Women's Podium

I have heard the Polish National Anthem often as Kowalczyk wins a lot. Here is Newell getting presented his medal by the deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand:

Andy Newell Being Awarded Medal

The men’s podium was Newell in first, Russia’s Alexey Petukhov second and Canada’s Devon Kershaw third.

New Zealand Winter Games 2013 Men's Podium

It was fun to hear the Star Spangled Banner. It seemed like a big race at the awards ceremony, and it was certainly a high level field (without any depth.)

New Zealand Winter Games 2013 Men's Podium with Flags

This morning the weather turned more spring-like. It rained some overnight.

Spring Like Conditions at Snow Farm, New Zealand

My teammates and I classic skied for two and a half hours. I used only double pole (a technique that doesn’t use legs) to continue to work on my weaknesses of upper body strength and power. Here are the Canadian men out skiing as a group:

Canadain Men Skiing in New Zealand