Wanaka Set to Give Winter Paralympic Athletes a Heroes’ Welcome

The successful New Zealand Winter Paralympic team will pay a special visit to Wanaka next Tuesday, 27 March to celebrate their achievements at the recent Games in South Korea. 

Carl Murphy, a Wanaka-local, will be joined by medal winners Adam Hall (Dunedin) and Corey Peters (New Plymouth) who both also call Wanaka home during the New Zealand winter. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Snow Sports New Zealand (SSNZ) are jointly coordinating the celebration that begins with a street parade. 

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult said he expected another big turnout from a very proud local community. 

“The success of our Winter Paralympians following so soon after New Zealand’s first Winter Olympic medals since 1992 demonstrates the ongoing development and strength in depth of New Zealand’s snow sports athletes. Huge congratulations to everyone who has helped Adam, Corey and Carl compete at the very highest level including Snow Sports NZ, High Performance Sport NZ, Winter Games NZ, Paralympics NZ  our world-class ski fields as well as their friends and family,” said Mayor Boult.

“In particular I would like to recognise Adam’s achievements at PyeongChang. Not only did he win two medals but was also singled out as the first ever New Zealander to receive the prestigious Whang Yuon Dai Achievement Award for exemplifying the spirit of the Paralympic Games and Paralympic values.

“Once again the street parade takes place in the town centre after school to give as many people as possible, especially kids, the chance to show their support and be inspired,” said Mayor Boult. 

Four-time Winter Paralympian Hall claimed bronze in the Super Combined before going on to win a gold medal in Slalom on the team’s final day of competition. It was his second triumph having scooped gold in the same discipline at the Vancouver 2010 Games. 

Sit-skier Corey Peters claimed a bronze medal in Downhill on day one of the Games while Murphy made an impressive comeback from an 18-month injury break to record a top five finish in the Para Snowboard Banked Slalom. 

The street parade leaves the Lake Wanaka Centre at 3.30pm and travels a circuit along Ardmore Street, Dungarvon Street and Dunmore Street before ending at the Cardrona office at the corner of Helwick Street and Dunmore Street. All three members of the team have their training base at Cardrona Alpine Resort. 

The athletes will remain at the Cardrona office to meet members of the community, sign autographs and show off their medals after Queenstown Lakes District Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod says a few words of thanks on behalf of the community.

Wanaka Set to Give Winter Paralympic Athletes a Heroes’ Welcome

7 months ago