Wells wins Central Otago sports award
Wanaka’s Jossi Wells, 26, has been named Central Otago’s top sportsman for 2016 and the region’s supreme athlete.
He adds the awards to the haul he has been collecting since he began competitive skiing as a 9-year-old.
The awards are based on 2016 performances. The supreme athlete wins the Bruce Grant Memorial trophy.
Wells’ stellar 2016 started with an X-Game gold medal in slopestyle freeski in January and continued when he was named Snow Sports NZ’s supreme athlete of the year for the third time in September.
Wells has spent a decade as one of the world’s top freeski athletes and now has six X-Games medals to his name.
He added a bronze at an Olympic qualifying event in South Korea and a fourth in the Dew Tour slopestyle in the USA in December.
Wanaka triathlete Nicky Samuels won the senior sportswoman title for her strong comeback from injury to finish 13th at the Rio Olympics, more than 20 places ahead of her London Olympics result.
Wanaka freeskier Finn Bilous was named top junior sportsman for winning New Zealand’s first medals at a Winter Youth Olympics, a silver and a bronze.
He also won a gold at the Europa Cup, two golds at the USASA Championships and a silver at the Cardrona Games.
Bilous won the 2016 Snow Sports NZ breakthrough season award and was a finalist for the Emerging Talent Awards at the Halberg Awards.
Queenstown alpine skier Alice Robinson was named 2016’s top junior sportswoman.
Robinson’s 2016 results included a top 10 finish in Italy, before going on to add the under16 title at the USSA western regional finals.
That was followed by a gold in the giant slalom and silver in the Super G at the United States National finals.
She also claimed the under-16 Youth National Series title for the second year in a row.
Top team was the Sky City Southern Stampede, for its backto-back New Zealand Ice Hockey League championships.
The team won 12 of its 16 games.
It thrashed Canterbury in the home-and- away finals series.
Wanaka snowboard coach Sean Thompson was named coach of the year.
The Snow Sports NZ coach has guided Carlos Garcia Knight and Christy Prior to top results on the international stage.
The John Fitzharris Services to Sport Award was awarded to Wanaka yachting stalwart Steve Dickey.
Dickey was recognised for his 10 year contribution to the administration and daily operation of the Wanaka Yacht Club.
The awards were presented at a ceremony in Queenstown on Friday night.
Jossi Wells was named Central Otago’s top sportsman for 2016.
The Sky City Southern Stampede were named best Central Otago team.
Finn Bilous was named Central Otago’s best junior sportsman in 2016.