5 Jul 2011

New Zealand Winter Olympic medal chances boosted

2:39 pm on 5 July 2011

New Zealand's medal chances at Winter Olympics have been given a boost with the inclusion of men's and women's ski slopestyle and snowboard slopestyle events.

The decision announced by the International Olympic Committee follows the inclusion in April of ski halfpipe, another strong New Zealand winter sport.

The NZOC's secretary-general Kereyn Smith says the addition of the slopestyle events is positive for New Zealand as they suit local athletes.

New Zealanders Shelley Gottlieb, Rebecca Torr and Stefi Luxton are currently competing at international level in women's snowboard slopestyle and Jossi Wells won silver in the 2009 X-Games in ski slopestyle.

The next Winter Olympics are in Sochi in Russia in 2014.