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Resort College Aims for Hot Debut

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 this month.

The annual fixture, run by University Sport New Zealand, will feature more than 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 seven-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. 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 that 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". 

Source: Southland Times 18 August 2010

  • Posted By: QRC on Thu, 19th Aug 2010 @ 00:00:00