Wells brothers score a NZ first

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS -

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.

Pho­tos: SUP­PLIED

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.

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