Wells brothers score a NZ first
Wanaka athletes comprise the bulk of the New Zealand Winter Olympic team taking eight of the 15 team places. Queenstown slalom and giant slalom skier Adam Barwood is also in the team. Wanaka freeskiing prodigy Jossi Wells, 23, is joined by younger brothers Byron and Beau-James, meaning three family members in a New Zealand Olympic team, summer or winter, for the first time. Predictions are that if the silver fern is seen on the podium in Sochi, it will be worn by one of the 11-strong freeski and snowboarding contingent. Jossi Wells, who won an FIS World Cup event in slopestyle in Switzerland last week, is the biggest hope in both halfpipe and slopestyle, though his younger brothers have the skill and strong form on the world circuit to earn their way to the finals. Wanaka skiers Lyndon Sheehan and Janina Kuzma will join the Wells boys in Sochi, in the men’s and women’s freeski halfpipe respectively. Jossi acknowledges that extra pressure will be on him as the best Kiwi chance but is confident he can deal with it. ‘‘My main goal whenever I go to a contest is to do my very best and focus on that,’’ he said. ‘‘There are pressures outside skiing but I try not to let that affect my mindset. ‘‘I’m aware of pressure and expectations back home. I can use that to drive me to do my very best.’’ World No11 women’s skeleton racer Katharine Eustace will be a first-timer at the Olympics, as is Barwood.
Bro-style: Wanaka’s Wells brothers Jossi, Beau-James and Byron will represent New Zealand at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Younger brother Jackson, 15, is hoping for selection of 2018.
On board: Queenstown skier Adam Barwood is confirmed as amember of the New Zealand Olympic team to compete at Sochi.