New Zealand boosts winter sports funding after Beijing success

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Sep 8 (Reuters) – The New Zealand government will pour NZ$20 million ($12 million) into winter sports funding for the 2026 Olympics and Paralympics in Milan, following their most successful games in Beijing.

The investment includes an additional NZ$1.6 million per year over the four-year Olympic cycle for Snow Sports New Zealand’s operations, a more than 60% increase over the level of funding for Beijing.

Snowboarder Zoey Sadowski-Sinot and freestyle skier Nico Portius won the country’s first Winter Olympic gold medals in China with their victories in the women’s slopestyle and men’s halfpipe.

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Sadowski-Sinot also won a silver medal in the major aerial event.

“New Zealand’s unprecedented success at the Winter Olympic Games and Winter Paralympic Games earlier this year reflects the emerging young talent in the Winter Games,” New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robertson said in a statement on Thursday.

“This investment will support winter sports high-performance campaigns, build on athlete and coach pathway development and wellbeing initiatives and help provide our top winter sports athletes and para-athletes the facilities to compete consistently at the highest level.” will help.”

The investment will provide new support for previously unfunded sports, luge and biathlon.

New Zealand have made great strides since claiming two bronze medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, failing to win medals in six consecutive Winter Games from 1994 to 2014.

More success could come in 2026, with a promising crop of juniors making their mark at global events.

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Snow Sports NZ boss Nick Cavanagh said the funding boost was “fantastic”.

“This allows us to deeply support the route while maintaining consistent support for our medal capable campaigns.”

($1 = 1.6532 New Zealand Dollar)

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Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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