Three Oamaru residents have swapped the New Zealand summer sunshine for snow in South Korea, for the 10th Special Olympics World Winter Games.
Noel Joyce, Katrina Hewett, and Oamaru police Constable Stew Hewett are all in PyeongChang, South Korea representing Special Olympics New Zealand, the nationwide organisation that provides sports training and competition for people with intellectual disabilities.
Mr Joyce will help lead the Special Olympics New Zealand team as assistant head of delegation while Katrina is competing in the alpine skiing competition.
Katrina's father Stew, meanwhile, has taken part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, a fundraising initiative that ran before the Games.
The World Winter Games New Zealand delegation, which comprises 10 athletes, all with an intellectual disability, and six coaches, assistant coaches and volunteers, arrived in South Korea 10 days before the opening ceremony on Tuesday, acclimatising to the bitter cold winter temperatures, and altitude.
Katrina knows what it feels like to win gold on the world stage.
The Oamaru athlete won a gold medal for breaststroke at the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, and it is a feeling Katrina is aiming to repeat on the slopes of PyeongChang, when she vies for more medals in her other favourite sport - alpine skiing.
Katrina was looking forward to the exciting atmosphere that being at an international event brings, meeting new people, travelling and seeing a new country.
She has been skiing for 16 years.
She said that while she enjoyed the competition aspect of the sport and was motivated to improve her skiing, meeting up with friends was also a big incentive that kept her hitting the slopes each year.
She was due to compete in the AS Alpine Intermediate Super G Division 25, late yesterday but results were not available when the Oamaru Mail went to print.
More than 2300 athletes from around the world will compete at the Games, which are being held at the same site as the 2018 Winter Olympics.
It will be the largest Special Olympics World Winter Games, featuring seven categories of sports including alpine skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, and demo sport floorball.
There is expected to be 14,900 people attending including 2300 athletes.