In just under 100 days over 30 Australian athletes will head to Sapporo, Japan, to take on Asia's best at the Olympic Council of Asia’s 8th Asian Winter Games.
The OCA invited the Oceania National Olympic Committees to compete in Sapporo as guests, following an approach by the Australian Olympic Committee. The athletes from Oceania can enter individual sports only and will not be eligible to win medals.
So far, Australia has confirmed its entry, with New Zealand and a few other Oceania NOCs also said to be interested to send athletes to gain high-level winter sports experience, as winter sports are almost non-existent in the Oceania region.
Australia will compete in all individual sports except for ski jumping, with eight athletes in figure skating and seven in short track speed skating.
A total of 2,617 athletes and officials have been registered for the Asian Winter Games. This figure includes 20 National Olympic Committees for men’s ice hockey, which will be played at three levels: Top Division for four teams, Division One for six teams and Division Two for 10 teams.
Six teams have entered the women’s ice hockey competition.
The 8th Asian Winter Games will be held from February 19-26 and involve five sports, 11 disciplines and 64 events.
The five sports and 11 disciplines are: Skiing (Alpine, Cross-Country, Ski Jumping, Freestyle and Snowboard), Skating (Figure Skating, Short Track Speed Skating and Speed Skating), Biathlon, Ice Hockey and Curling.
Olympic Council of Asia