2013 Winter Games to attract top athletes

04:49, Jul 20 2012
Winter Games 2011
Wanaka's Jossi Wells in action in the freeski halfpipe men's final.
Winter Games 2011
Maddie Bowman of the United States in the ladies' freeski halfpipe final.
Winter Games 2011
Second-placed Jossi Wells (left) and winner Gus Kenworthy of the United States after the freeski halfpipe final.
Winter Games 2011
Jossi Wells of Wanaka skis in the near whiteout conditions.
Winter Games 2011
Freeski halfpipe men's final winner Gus Kenworthy of the United States in action.
Jossi Wells
Wanaka's Jossi Wells gets airborne during the men's freeski slopestyle competition during the Winter Games at Snow Park.
Jossi Wells
New Zealand's Jossi Wells soars on his freeski slopestyle run that earned him a second runner-up finish at the Winter Games.
Joss Christensen
American Joss Christensen competes in the men's freeski slopestyle competition at Snow Park.
Beau-James Wells
Beau-James Wells, younger brother of Jossi Wells, waits at the bottom of the hill after completing his qualifying run.
Erik Hughes
Erik Hughes, of the United States, throws down a backflip during his slopestyle run.
Min Jeong Kwak
Korea's Min Jeong Kwak competes in the women's free skating competition on day one of the Winter Games in Dunedin.
Andrew Dodds
Australian Andrew Dodds gets horizontal during his routine in the men's free skating competition at the Winter Games.
Cross country skiing
American Kris Freeman leads the pack during the men's 10km mass start race on day one of the Winter Games at Snow Farm.
Cross country skiing
Crouss country skiers make their way down a hill during the men's 10km mass start race.
Momoko Dekijima
Japan's Momoko Dekijima competes in the women's standing 10km individual cross country at Snow Farm.
Kris Freeman
Kris Freeman of the USA is out in front in the cross country sprint race on day two of the Winter Games.
Andrew Newell
American Andrew Newell leads a group during the men's cross country sprint race.
Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers
Canadian pair Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers perform during the figure skating gala in Dunedin.
Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers
Canadian pair Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers perform during the figure skating gala in Dunedin.
Winter Games NZ
Jossi Wells of Wanaka placed third overall in the the Freeski Big Air Mens final.
Winter Games NZ
At Cardrona Alpine Resort on Saturday, the Freeski Big Air Mens final. Pictured in action is Jossi Wells of Wanaka, NZ, placed third overall in the event.
Winter Games NZ
At Cardrona Alpine Resort on Saturday, the Freeski Big Air Mens final. Pictured in action is Jossi Wells of Wanaka, NZ, placed third overall in the event.
Winter Games NZ
Christopher Laker of the United States of America competes in the Freeski Big Air Mens Final during day eight of the Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort
Winter Games NZ
An athlete competes at the Dunedin Rail Jam, which is part of the Winter Games NZ.
Winter Games NZ
General view at the Dunedin Rail Jam, which is part of the Winter Games NZ.
Winter Games NZ
New Zealand's Liam Ryan competes in the Mens Snowboard Slopestyle Qualification during day nine of the Winter Games NZ at Snow Park on August 21, 2011 in Wanaka.
Winter Games NZ
Will Jackways of New Zealand competes in the Mens Snowboard Slopestyle Qualification during day nine.
Winter Games NZ
Milu Multhaup-Appleton competes in the Mens Snowboard Slopestyle FInal during day nine.
Winter Games NZ
Scott Levitt of Australia controls the puck during the Ice Hockey Finals match between NZ and Australia.
Winter Games NZ
Zak Nothling of NZ saves a shot from Cassian Delsar of Australia.
Winter Games NZ
Doglas Hedin of Sweden competes in the Men's Giant Slalom.
Winter Games NZ
2011 Winter Games in New Zealand. Competitors during the curling round robin matches on day eight of the Winter Games NZ at Maniototo International Curling Rink.
Winter Games NZ
Katja Kilskinen of Finland releases a stone during the Curling Round Robin match between Finland and Australia.
Winter Games NZ
Nick Pascoe of New Zealand competes in the Men's Giant Slalom run.
Winter Games NZ
Andy Trow of Canada competes in the Men's Giant Slalom run two.
Winter Games NZ
Jong Seork Park of Korea competes in the Mens Giant Slalom Sitting race.
Winter Games NZ
Regina Mader of Austria competes in the Womens Giant Slalom.
Winter Games NZ
Jasmine Flury of Switzerland competes in the Womens Giant Slalom.
Winter Games NZ
Denise Feierabend of Swizterland competes in the Womens Giant Slalom.

New Zealand will play host to one of the largest snow sport events outside the Winter Olympics next year.

Winter Games New Zealand 2013 will host at least five world cup events, the first time so many have been staged in a single event outside the Olympics.

The Games will also act as a qualifier for the Olympics six months later and offer world ranking points, meaning it is set to attract the top snow sport athletes in the world.

Jossi Wells
AIR UP THERE: Wanaka's Jossi Wells competes in the men's freeski slopestyle final during the 2011 Winter Games near Queenstown.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce today confirmed New Zealand Major Events will invest $1 million into the event to supplement funding form Sport New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand.

The programme will include FIS World Cup events in snowboard slopestyle, snowboard cross, freestyle ski halfpipe, freestyle ski slopestyle and snowboard halfpipe. Three Super Continental Cups and seven Continental Cups will also feature in the competition.

"The 2013 Winter Games will be a major step up from the previous two Winter Games. It is a bold move to go with five FIS World Cups and we are now waiting whether our two alpine ski racing events for the adaptive (disabled) skiers will also be World Cups. This would be wonderful for our Vancouver gold medallist, Adam Hall," Games chief executive Arthur Klap said.

The 2013 edition will run over 14 days from August 12-25.

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