Full ski ahead for Win­ter Olympics

Ath­letes ready to give their all dur­ing se­lec­tion process

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT -

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.

Photo: GRANT BRYANT

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.

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