13 Aug 2011

Winter games begin in Central Otago

6:46 pm on 13 August 2011

A New Zealand competitor at this year's Winter Games is describing being able to compete in front of a local audience as his proudest moment.

Paralympian and gold medalist Adam Hall says the games are the toughest event outside the Olympics.

More than 1000 athletes are gathered in Queenstown for the opening ceremony on Saturday evening.

Competitors from 50 countries will compete in 38 events in Queenstown, Wanaka, Naseby and Dunedin.

Mr Hall says he is proud to show New Zealanders what internationally competing athletes do, which the public is not often able to see in person.

The Winter Games are sponsored by Tourism New Zealand, which hopes a television audience numbering millions will encourage travel to New Zealand.