Spend time in the farming town of Methven, an hour outside of Christchurch, in winter and expect to see the likes of World Champions and Olympic medalists Herman Maier and Mario Matt in the local supermarket. The Austrian men's ski team are regulars at nearby Mt. Hutt every August when the skiers and their coaches take advantage of the winter conditions. Local hotelier, Ian McLean, is a former coach for the Austrian and German women's ski teams and an FIS approved timekeeper. The Austrian ski team, and more often their coaches, are found at Ian's Forest Lodge restaurant when in town, and are attracted to the low-key atmosphere of this town's mere twelve hundred population. Don't be surprised if farther south in the lakeside resort of Wanaka you share a chairlift at Treble Cone with USA legend Bode Miller and Austrian Benjamin Raich as the Austrian, USA, Norwegian, and German teams utilise the ski field for intensive training. Meanwhile, across the Crown Range at Coronet Peak, the women's USA ski team take to the slopes before first lifts. New Zealand is a popular destination for Northern Hemisphere elite athletes during the northern summer. The combination of snow and international-style terrain ensures athletes an almost year-long, on-snow training program.
- Snow Reports