Onesie Day is on tomorrow at Cardrona!

cardrona-onesie-day-2015-400x300pxYou know you’ve always thought about wearing a Onesie up the mountain…and here’s your chance!! Bring your favorite Onesie up Cardrona tomorrow and shred the slopes in style and comfort while also being part of a special record attempt!

Not only will the day be filled with crazy dress ups but you can also help us set a record for Onesie wearing in New Zealand!

Meet at the Cardrona Snowman in the Base Area Courtyard at 1pm and we’ll be taking photos of all the sweet Onesies while doing a head count to see if we break the record of Onesie wearing in NZ!! There’ll be prizes for the best onesies so make sure you’re there!

This Thursday 3rd of September come dressed as your favourite animal, superhero or in your raddest 70s one-piece ski suit for Onesie Day at Cardrona!

Winter Games NZ Closing Day at Cardrona

What a way to close this year’s Audi quattro Winter Games NZ! A monster of a day with three finals events, an aerial display, medal ceremonies and much more meant the world’s eyes were on Cardrona for an epic finale for the Games.

The day began with an impressive and inspiring Haka from the Mount Aspiring College Kapa Haka Group at the bottom of the 22ft Olympic Superpipe. Rousing up all the snowboard athletes for a spectacular halfpipe final full of huge tricks and surprising upsets, the group braved the cold in bare feet on the snow to a great response from the crowd building for the final.

FIS World Cup Halfpipe

It was a Japanese 1-2 on the podium for the men’s snowboard halfpipe final, with it all coming down to Sochi Olympic Gold medallist Iouri Podladtchikov’s last run. Sitting in third place, only I-Pod could unseat 20 year-old Raibu Katayama from leading the tour. It just wasn’t the Swiss’s day, coming unhinged on his final run and having to settle for third place with Taku Hiraoka in second behind his Japanese countryman.

The women’s affair was another giant upset, with heavy favourite, USA’s Kelly Clark, unable to land a single run in her final. Xuetong Cai of China, Japan’s Hikaru Oe and Sophie Rodriguez of France all landed epic runs to make for an incredible women’s final and round out the podium.

Freeski and Snowboard Big Air

Then came the absolute spectacle that was the Freeski and Snowboard Big Air Final, with local heroes and Cardrona Ambassadors Beau-James and Byron Wells throwing down amongst a field of international heavy hitters. The Japanese snowboard team had a fun progression session, with the only three riders in both the men’s and women’s events, sharing the podiums and the day’s honours between all six riders.

The men’s Freeski final was the highlight of the day, with 12 riders throwing HUGE tricks and pushing each other to try new ones. Overall honours of the day went to Switzerland’s Andri Ragettli, with Johan Berg of Norway and another Swiss, Luca Schuler, taking out second and third respectively. The whole Big Air event was backdropped with sweet tunes provided by Shapeshifter’s P-Diggs, with the atmosphere building ahead of the Closing Ceremony.

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A crowd gathers at Cardrona for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Closing Ceremony.

 

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Chuck Berry lowers the NZ flag.

A HUGE crowd gathered at the bottom of McDougall’s chair for an incredible closing ceremony, which began with the medal ceremonies for the freeski and snowboard Big Air finals. Then the crowd turned its eyes to the Big Air jump where some of the freeski athletes took one last hit in a giant train, followed by some of Cardrona’s HPC youth carrying the flags of the participating nations.

With a farewell karakia from Ngai Tahu Kaumatua Michael Skerrit, and the National Anthem sung by MAC student Rosie Spearing while Red Bull athlete Chuck Berry lowered the New Zealand flag, it was a poignant farewell to the Games which were the pinacle of the New Zealand 2015 Winter season here at Cardrona!

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Some of the world’s best skiers showcase their skills in the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Closing Ceremony

For more on the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, check out:

http://www.cardrona.com/how-to-feel-like-a-pro-presented-by-cardrona/

http://www.cardrona.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-winter-games-nz-event/

http://www.cardrona.com/making-shaping-and-raking-the-3cs-cardrona-park-crew-winter-games-nz/

http://www.cardrona.com/cardrona-all-set-for-winter-games/

Winter Games NZ: An interview with Janina Kuzma

Words from: “Winter Olympics: Hanging out for a medal”

Author: Michael Burgess, NZ Herald

Janina Kuzma is special. The average New Zealand sports fan won’t know much about her — but probably should.

Not only is she one of the world’s leading female exponents on the free ski half pipe, she also jumps off huge mountains for a living.

It’s a rare ability; a bit like being a sprinter and distance runner, or doing BMX tricks in a bowl as well as downhill mountain biking.

“It is unique — definitely,” says coach Tom Willmot. “No one else on the free style tour has excelled in free ride as well … people tend to specialise in one discipline or another.”

One week, Kuzma will be flying several metres above the half pipe, trying to master the intricacies of a complex trick, the next she might be careering down a sheer mountain face, skiing off cliffs and trying to avoid avalanches.

“I’ve been lucky to do both,” said Kuzma. “And sometimes the change of focus is good.”

Kuzma, a Cardrona ambassador, was the centre of local attention at the Winter Games in Wanaka last Friday, competing in the final of the World Cup half pipe, finishing on the podium in second place.

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Cardrona Ambassador Janina Kuzma in second place at the Audi quattro Winter Games freeski halfpipe. Photo: Janina Kuzma Instagram

Kuzma’s first love is her big mountain adventures but next season, she will focus almost exclusively on the half pipe, building towards the 2018 Winter Olympics. She’s coming off a great season, with several podium finishes at World Cups and is ranked in the world’s top two.

Kuzma was a late adapter to the half pipe but has risen fast, despite a difficult start. The 29-year-old broke her back in training soon after the transition in 2011, misjudging a jump to land on top of the pipe. She suffered a compression fracture and a blow to her confidence.

“I worked with a sport psychologist to get over the accident,” said Kuzma. “At the end of the day, it’s just another trick … you don’t want to build up fear around one trick. But it is a reality of our sport — one mistake, and you can be out for the whole winter.”

She came fifth at the 2014 Olympics, and is among our best prospects.

“Janina’s had a really good 18 months,” said Willmot. “She’s been on a real high since Sochi. She has a good variety of tricks and executes them well.”

Willmot also raves about her “superhuman work ethic”, citing a training session in Oregon where she hiked 35 times to the top of the half pipe (there was no tow rope) in 30 degree temperatures.

Kuzma was born in Brisbane, and spent large parts of her childhood in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Canada before moving to New Zealand as an 18-year-old. Her family has followed her to Wanaka.

She has excelled in the big mountain events. She’s a two-time winner of the World Heli Skiing challenge and has twice been crowned Canadian free ski champion, as well as picking up numerous local honours. She also finished third on the free ski world tour in 2011.

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Janina Kuzma in Tigne, March 2015, winning the overall FIS tour second place. Photo: Snow Sports NZ

She features in some spectacular clips on YouTube — her 2011 run at the Xtreme Verbier in Switzerland is a good example.

“It takes years of experience to face your fears,” said Kuzma. “They usually bomb the face [so] you are relatively safe but in a big mountain environment, you never know if there is going to be an avalanche.”

Kuzma’s most daunting — and thrilling — experience was in Alaska when shooting for the Shades of Winter film. She was hand-picked for the movie, which follows six of the world’s best female skiers.

“In Alaska, there is no avalanche control,” said Kuzma. “You get dropped off in a helicopter and you are standing at the top of the mountain, thinking ‘where is my out? If an avalanche happens, I need to get to that ridge so I don’t get caught’.”

Almost every day, you’ll find her hanging in the Cardrona sky.

“You have to keep improving, that’s part of the game,” said Kuzma. “I don’t really think about being a [Olympic] medallist. I just want to ski how I ski and do everything I can. But yes, I think I possibly could. I was on the podium [this season] with the bronze and silver medallist [from Sochi]. I definitely could make it.”

 

For more on Janina Kuzma, check out her Cardrona Ambassador page:

http://www.cardronaparksnz.com/team/cardrona-team-ambassadors/janina-kuzma/

How to Feel like a Pro, Presented by Cardrona

We’ve all been there – that moment when you realise you will never be a professional skier or snowboarder. Watching them spin so many times it makes you dizzy, feeling that twinge in your back that’s a sure sign you’re too old to learn to flip. But there’s still that yearning when you close your eyes and imagine yourself on top of the podium, clutching your sponsored skis. We know the feeling, so for the last weekend of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, here at Cardrona we’ve got you covered with some surefire steps to help you feel like a pro.

Step One: Get the Gear

When you first arrive at Cardrona and look at the tattered jacket you borrowed from your mate and the goggles so scratched you can barely see through them, you know a stop to our SnowShop is the first place to go. They can get you kitted out in all the latest gear, give you advice on wise fashion decisions and make sure you know enough about it all to bluff your way through any debate about whether amber or mirrored lenses are better on low visibility days.

Then a stop to Rentals is in order, to see our highly knowledgeable team about some high performance rental gear. It’s a $15 upgrade from your standard rental package to get twin tip skis or a board with a lot more “pop”. The team in rentals will make sure your gear is set up to perfection, and can even make sure your style is on point before you head out the door onto the slopes.

 

Some of the High Performance snowboards available to rent at Cardrona's on-mountain rentals.

Step Two: Charge up like a Pro

Stop in to Juice and Java on the SnowShop side of the Base Café and check out one of their two new Super Smoothies – the “Greenade” or the “GI-Go” , packed full of healthy ingredients to make sure you start your day off right! Brand new for this season also are the amazing Goji n’ Cocoa Energy Balls – full of raw ingredients like Goji berries, cranberries and almonds to stock your pockets with to keep your energy levels high!

Juice and Java's new "Super Smoothies", modelled by Cardrona Team members Nico and Miguel Porteous.miguel nico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Three: Have a Lesson

What is one thing almost every pro skier or snowboarder has? A coach! And let’s be honest, you’re not going to land your first 360 without some help. So head over to the Ski and Snowboard School desk in Ticketing, and get yourself booked in for either a Private or a Group lesson. We have instructors who specialise in freestyle skiing and snowboarding, and can help take you from zero to hero (or at least doing straight airs in Lil’ Bucks Park).

Step Four: Cool Down like a Pro

Once you’ve finished shredding the gnar with your instructor, why not have a nice relaxing afternoon up the mountain. Throughout Winter Games NZ the Fanzone will be open to watch the action, including the Corona Bar where you can get a cold one to finish off your day. Otherwise head up to the Slopestyle, Halfpipe, or Big Air course to get up close and personal with this year’s Winter Games NZ athletes!

 

Don’t forget our other departments on board to help you live out your pro skiing and snowboarding dreams! Drop the kids off at one of our four kids’ centres and get out to Whitestar chair and the Wells platter for “casual” encounters with Winter Games NZ athletes. Remember that when that back twinge kicks in we have an on-mountain physiotherapist in at the Cardrona Medical Centre!

We’re ready to make you feel like a pro, so come up to Cardrona for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, on now!!

 

For more on the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, check out:

http://www.cardrona.com/cardrona-all-set-for-winter-games/

http://www.cardrona.com/what-to-expect-when-youre-spectating-at-winter-games-nz/

http://www.cardrona.com/whats-going-on-in-wanaka-for-winter-games-nz/

http://www.cardrona.com/making-shaping-and-raking-the-3cs-cardrona-park-crew-winter-games-nz/

http://www.cardrona.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-winter-games-nz-event/

A day in the life of a Winter Games NZ event

It’s 8:30am and you’ve just arrived at Cardrona to catch some epic Audi quattro Winter Games NZ action. Everything looks ready to go – the crowds are gathering, the athletes are heading up the lift to start practice, the sponsors banners are flying and it seems like the event has sprung up out of the snow. But what most people aren’t aware of is that the action actually starts taking place five hours earlier, when the alarms for the Cardrona Events crew go off!

Early Start

4am and members of our Events crew are out of bed and in a van heading up the mountain to get on a snowmobile and shuttle television crew around the mountain to set up all their cables and cameras. By 5:30am they’re joined by the rest of the Cardrona Events crew and Winter Games staff to set up all the fencing, signage and banners around the Halfpipe, Slopestyle or Big Air courses. By 8:30am when everyone arrives and everything looks close to perfection, most of our crew, dressed in black and armed with weed sprayers full of blue dye, have been hard at work for three hours to get it all ready for spectators, athletes and film crews.

Cardrona Olympic Halpipe set up for Winter Games

Throughout the competition it’s a constant stream of radio communication between Cardrona Events staff, Winter Games staff, volunteers, judges and the television crew. Nothing happens in the pipe, on the slopestyle course or on the big air jump without the whole team knowing about it. Cardrona staff and volunteers stationed beside slopestyle features make sure the course is put on hold should an athlete fall, and every run is checked with both the judges and TV crew before the next rider drops to make sure not a single trick is missed.

All hands (or wings!) on deck

A day in the 22ft Olympic Superpipe is one of carefully planned numbers; around 5 Cardrona Events staff, 1 Chief of Course, 12 volunteers (and sometimes even a sneaky penguin!) to side slip the loose snow back into the middle of the pipe and to organise athletes into bib order, 2 scored runs for each competitor, and for most of the staff almost 12 hours on the snow. Because Winter Games NZ events alternate daily between Slopestyle and Halfpipe at Cardrona, the rest of the team’s day is spent transporting all the signage, fencing, banners and other equipment across the mountain to the other course. Then for most of them it’s down the mountain and into bed by 8:30pm to do it all again tomorrow!

Penguin mascot and Events Crew at Cardrona   Two Cardrona Events Crew with flags

For everybody involved behind the scenes in running an event like the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, it can be a long and full-on day! But something about being in the middle of the action keeps them all coming back year after year – if it’s the quiet pep-talks between coach and competitor, professional skiers singing at the top of their lungs to music only they can hear through their headphones, or all the spectators and athletes cheering alike when someone stomps a run. For people who have been awake for hours before the sun came up, they sure have huge smiles on their faces!

Watch Winter Games NZ

Winter Games NZ Live Feed

Winter Games NZ Schedule

Winter Games NZ Events at Cardrona

More about Winter Games NZ

Making, Shaping and Raking: The 3CS Cardrona Park Crew @ Winter Games NZ

What’s going on in Wanaka for Winter Games NZ

What to expect when you’re spectating at Winter Games NZ

Cardrona all set for Winter Games NZ!

Top Riders to compete in Snowboard Events at Winter Games

FIS Continental Cup events warm up to Winter Games

Winter Games Update: one month to go!

AFP endorses Audi quattro Winter Games NZ

Making, Shaping and Raking: The 3CS Cardrona Park Crew @ Winter Games NZ

When it comes to preparing for an event like the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, nobody does it better than the 3CS Cardrona Park Crew. You might see the boys out on one of our three terrain parks raking the features a few times a day, but there is a lot more to their job than that.

For Winter Games NZ, work starts weeks in advance to get everything ready for some of the world’s best athletes to descend on New Zealand’s home of freestyle skiing and snowboarding. And all the work starts at night.

Unique to Cardrona is a passionate team of park and pipe groomers who can not only build features, but test them too. This means that our Winter Games athletes can have the confidence that the course is built by riders, for riders. Head halfpipe groomer John Melville is an industry leader in pipe building, shaping, and maintaining. Our 3CS Park Crew is passionate about delivering a product that is both safe and progressive at the same time.

This year Cardrona purchased 4 new groomers equipped with the “Snow Sat” system – a GPS snow level tracking system that is unique in the southern hemisphere to Cardrona. It means the “Big Bucks” park (where the Slopestyle ski and snowboard events will take place), the Big Air jump and the Olympic 22ft Superpipe have been built bigger, better and quicker than ever before as groomer drivers have been able to see where excess snow cover can be taken from to build world class freestyle features. It has given athletes the opportunity to train earlier for the Games, and created a better quality freestyle facility in general.

For the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, our highly experienced and qualified park crew have built features from scratch – including a Mons Royale 3m high wallride feature with a 1.2m ledge.

Cardrona Parks Crew head Heath Richmond building the new Mons Royale Wallride feature. Photo: Heath Richmond.

Then the boys spend the night digging in and setting new features, a process that can take most of the night. Only once the features are set and shaped do the 3CS Park Crew end up where we see them each day – in Big Bucks, Antlers Alley and Lil Bucks with a rake in hand!

So when you’re watching the Audi quattro Winter Games you’re not just watching the talented athletes, you’re watching the work of a seriously talented crew of groomers and shapers who make the slopestyle, halfpipe and big air courses bigger and better year after year! Their passion is one of the things that will make this year’s Winter Games NZ events at Cardrona absolutely EPIC!

The Winter Games Live Feed

It’s always better watching it LIVE!! All the events at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ are free to watch, however if you can’t make it up to Cardrona to catch all the action in the flesh then follow them here with live streaming.

Up at Cardrona live streams are visible on Mezz and Base cafe’s. We highly recommend viewing on spot though; this your chance to meet the stars and watch them compete at the highest level!

You can also follow the Games live here or on wintergamesnz.kiwi. TV3 is offering coverage via both live stream and highlights, see TV guide here.

Still not enough? Want to up close and personal to some of the worlds best freestyle skiers and boarders? Cardrona is an easy 60 minute drive from the centre of Queenstown or 35 minutes from Wanaka. See our Getting to Cardrona page for maps & distances plus information about return bus transfer options.

What’s Going on in Wanaka for Winter Games NZ

 

This year’s Audi quattro Winter Games NZ is an exciting time for Cardrona – but not all the fun is happening up on the mountain! There are many events happening down in Wanaka that we can’t wait to get amongst!

The hub of Winter Games NZ is the Wanaka Games Village. The Village is located on the Wanaka lakefront and is the centre for all things Winter Games NZ – it’s open from 3pm til late every day throughout the Games, and is also where all the awards ceremonies for Cardrona’s freestyle events will be held. So even if you don’t make it up the mountain to watch the action live, you can still catch the awards ceremonies from 5pm each finals day in the Wanaka Games Village.

Adventure-Film-Festival-thumbnailA highlight of this year’s Games will be the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Adventure Film Festival presented by GoPro. Each night of the week long festival, the Games Villages in Wanaka and Queenstown will be transformed into theatres for free screenings of inspiring adventure films. The festival runs from the 23rd-29th of August, with film screenings alternating between the Queenstown and Wanaka Games Villages. To get your free tickets and for more info visit www.wintergamesnz.kiwi.

Creating a real festival atmosphere in Wanaka is a large focus this year for Winter Games NZ. Each day of the Games from 3pm, live music will be playing from the Wanaka Games Village. DJ sets will start off the afternoon, and each evening a different band or DJ will play from 6pm. Here at Cardrona we’re all looking forward to catching Kora play down in Wanaka after the Winter Games NZ closing ceremony up on the mountain!

We can’t wait to join in with Wanaka in Kora will play the JUCY Meltdown Concert in Wanaka after the 2015 closing ceremony at Cardrona. celebrating the 2015 Audi quattro Winter Games NZ! Bring on the Games and bring on the fun!

For more information on all the Wanaka Games Village events visit the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ website or their Facebook page.

What to expect when you’re spectating at Winter Games NZ

Things are ramping up big time for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ here at Cardrona! We’re very excited to have you all up here to watch the freestyle ski and snowboard events with us, so we thought we’d let you know what to expect on the day.

  • Firstly, every event is free to watch! You don’t even need a lift pass! You can walk to every spectator area so you don’t have to be a skier or snowboarder to come up and enjoy the action. It will take around 5 minutes to walk to each spectator location. Wear a solid, waterproof pair of footwear (along with warm winter clothing) and you’ll be good to go!
  • The halfpipe and big air events will be based up at the Wells Platter, above the learners slope. You can walk up beside the learners conveyer to get there, or if you’re on skis or a board you can ride up McDougalls or Whitestar chairs and make your way across. The slopestyle course is under Whitestar chair and if you’re walking there will be a marked trail to get here by lookers right of McDougall’s chairlift (close to the snowfence).
    WG trail map (640x426) (500x333)
  • If it’s finals action you’re after, all the final events start at 10am and should be done by midday. Qualifying events are still open to the public and will take a little longer, from 9am-1pm each day. There will be no public bathroom facilities near the halfpipe, big air or slopestyle courses, but there are plenty available in the base area.
  • Make sure you bring plenty of layers! Spectating on-mountain can often be subject to some variable mountain weather conditions. We’d recommend if you’re planning on staying at the halfpipe for a long time to bring a blanket or a second jacket to sit under, just in case! If it’s a bluebird out there, make sure you have your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat – Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap!
  • Winter Games tv schedule.tifThe official Winter Games NZ Fanzone will be located at the bottom of McDougalls chair, where you can relax and watch the events on the big screen (finals only). There will also be a Corona Bar in the Fanzone where you can get an ice cold Corona after a day on the slopes from Wednesday 26th August through til the 30th, 12pm onwards each day.
  • One of the most anticipated spectator days will be the 30th of August which will include: the Big Air finals and the closing ceremony featuring live music, wing suiting and skydive demonstrations and fireworks! The whole thing should wrap up at around 5pm.
  • Any changes to the competition schedule will be announced on the Winter Games NZ Facebook page, so if the weather is playing up or you want to double check everything is going ahead that is the best place to look.
  • If you’re not in Wanaka, then check out all the finals action on TV3 or live stream on www.wintergamesnz.kiwi.

We can’t wait to see you up at the home of New Zealand freestyle skiing and snowboarding to watch our athletes take on the world! Check it all out at Cardrona from the 20th of August!

Cardrona all set for Winter Games!

Exciting pre-season developments at Cardrona have created a platform for the next level of competition in freestyle skiing and snowboarding events at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on behind the scenes at Cardrona in the build up to the Games.

New Audi Partnership

Audi on Cardrona access road with Winter Games billboard

Cardrona has announced a partnership with Winter Games Sponsor Audi quattro, a new endeavour for the 2015 season. Our General Manager Bridget Legnavsky says the new partnership strengthens the relationship between the resort and the Winter Games event tenfold:

“The Audi quattro Winter Games has certainly stamped its mark on the world of winter events. We are so stoked to be a part of it, to bring it to our people and to present it to the world. We are very proud of what Arthur and his team have achieved and happy to do everything we can to help them have an epic Games.”

New Snowcat Groomers working at CardronaNew Technology

The world’s top freeskiers and snowboarders will also experience a range of new technology which will create world class courses for the events taking place at New Zealand’s home of freestyle snow sports.

GPS tracking of snow levels, the Snow Sat System, has given the resort a unique platform to ensure snow is spread evenly across the whole mountain, and this combined with early season snowfall has led to the Big Bucks Park and the Olympic 22ft Halfpipe built earlier and better than ever before.

“The new technology that we have introduced this season has allowed us to manage our snow efficiently and effectively. New machinery and precise information means we have been able to build our snow facilities earlier than ever. This was our mission and we are happy to easily deliver on that this season,” commented Bridget Legnavsky.

Fibre optic cabling on course will mean that judging for the events can occur via video feed – ensuring no trick is missed. Skiers and snowboarders training can also review their last run on the chairlift before their next on their connected devices.

Halfpipe at CardronaSolid Park Crew

Joining the solidly experienced Cardrona Park Crew this year is the legendary halfpipe builder John Melville, who has returned to the team after several years. His experience as a world leader in his field brings an exciting season of halfpipe skiing and snowboarding to the Games.

Cardrona Alpine Resort will play host to Halfpipe, Slopestyle and Big Air events for both skiing and snowboarding at this year’s Audi Quattro Winter Games later this month. The countdown is ON!

More about Winter Games NZ

Winter Games Schedule

Winter Games Events at Cardrona

Top Riders to compete in Snowboard Events at Winter Games

FIS Continental Cup events warm up to Winter Games

Winter Games Update: one month to go!

AFP endorses Audi quattro Winter Games

Audi quattro logo AUD1919 Wintergames Logo-06