Full ski ahead for Winter Olympics
Athletes ready to give their all during selection process
With fewer than three months to go until the Winter Olympics, New Zealand’s top freeski and snowboard athletes are again preparing for winter. Part of the team, Janina Kuzma and Lyndon Sheehan, both freeski half pipe skiers, Rebecca Sinclair, snowboard half pipe and Stefi Luxton, snowboard slope style, have already travelled to the northern hemisphere to begin training, while the remaining few, including brothers Jossi, Byron and Beau-James Wells left New Zealand on Monday. The brothers all compete in freeski half pipe and Jossi and Beau also compete in freeski slope style. The athletes – who have headed to Colorado – will make the most of the last remaining qualifying events to improve individual rankings and guarantee their place on the New Zealand Olympic team. The first qualifying event of the 2013-14 northern hemisphere season will be the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado from December 18 to 21. New Zealand athletes will compete in snowboard halfpipe along with the new Olympic disciplines of snowboard slopestyle, freeski halfpipe and freeski slopestyle. The New Zealand Olympic team was expected to be made up of 14 to 20 athletes from both ice and snow sports, with the majority of athletes competing in the freeski and snowboard events. New Zealand Olympic team selection will be complete by January 17 and the Sochi Olympic Games run from February 7 to 23.
Skiing free: Famous Wanaka freeski family, the Wells, just before departing Queenstown Airport for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Pictured are, clockwise from top left, Jackson, father Bruce, Byron and Beau-James. Oldest brother Jossi left on an earlier flight.