Olympians to Compete at Uni Snow Games




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Comment Share Posted on Monday August 23rd at 3:55 p.m.

With two winter Olympians in the ranks, it’s no wonder Queenstown Resort College (QRC) is eyeing up a successful debut at the Uni Snow Games in Wanaka later this month.

The annual fixture, run by University Sport New Zealand, will feature over 150 students from tertiary institutes throughout the country, all vying for the coveted Michael Forrestal Memorial Trophy.

QRC will compete for the first time at the event, to be staged from August 29 to September 3, and boasts Olympians Mitchey Greig and Sarah Murphy in its 7-strong contingent, along with Rhys Cochrane, Matt Fallaver, Mark Jury, Charmaine Fitton and Giles Cooper.

"We are all really excited to be part of it," QRC domestic marketing and recruitment manager Sarah Cairns said.

"It gives our students the opportunity to experience a Uni Games event which is fantastic."

For Greig, 21, the opportunity to hurtle down a skier X course on home turf proved irresistible - she even opted to compete at Snow Games instead of chasing the New Zealand GS title the same day.

"I'm just stoked to be back on a course ... there's usually none in New Zealand," she said.

"We need to build skier X up here. There's a few people interested but there's not really the facilities ... it's a lot of time and a lot of effort and would need some good drive behind it to make it happen."

She aptly described skier X as "like motocross or BMX on skis".

"It's definitely pretty hard out but it's good fun and gives you a great buzz," Greig said.

"The best thing is competing with your friends ... at the time you're going hard but at the bottom they're still your buddies."

The former alpine racer is scheduled to undergo a shoulder operation on September 7 and, with three months recovery looming, is anticipating her first summer in over eight years.

"I've had 17 back-to-back winters," she said. "I'll go in for the slice and then be back ready to compete overseas again."

Ranked 24th in the world, Greig competes "in a different country every week" on the prestigious World Cup circuit.

"It's the pinnacle of skier X and, ultimately, I want to be at the top," she said.

It's a quest she shares with QRC team-mate Sarah Murphy, who etched her name in the history books as New Zealand's first Olympic biathlete, a discipline which combines shooting and cross country skiing.

"Competing for New Zealand and being their first biathlete was a very proud moment for me," Murphy, 21, said.

She will strive for Snow Games gold in cross country but has also entered boarder gravity cross "to have some fun".

"It's something I've never done before so I'm keen to give it a try ... I have high expectations for myself in the cross country skiing but with boarder cross, if I make it down with no injuries I think that will be a really good day for me," she said.

Murphy and Greig were both studying towards an Adventure Tourism Management diploma at QRC - the only course of its kind in New Zealand.

"It's exactly what my life is about - it's a great programme and a really good option for athletes," Murphy said.

The QRC structure enabled them to study while remaining committed to training and their aspirations of competing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

"As soon as Vancouver finished, the focus switched to planning for 2014," Murphy said.

"I'm at a stage where I'm ready to be at the top physically and mentally so it's exciting to think about the opportunities ahead."

Since opening in 2006, QRC has quadrupled its intake numbers and offers programmes including Hospitality Management and the new Snowsport Business Management in partnership with NZSki.

 

For More Information Visit University Snow Games

 

 

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