Wright brothers pursue sport success
While Paul Wright, 19, chases the sun around the world on his mountain bike, his younger brother Campbell, 15, has chosen the snow hound’s back-to-back winter lifestyle.
Paul has been studying a premed course at Wilson College in North Carolina this year and returned to his parent’s home at Hawea Flat, near Wanaka, two months ago to prepare for the 2018 under-23 National and Oceania Championships.
On Saturday Paul won the 75km Bannockburn Gutbuster title, after a 3 hour 15 minute blast through the Nevis Valley, with Alexandra’s Mike Sangster, 24, and Arrowtown’s Richard Dunnett, 28, in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, Campbell has been calmly roller-skiing around Wanaka’s streets at dawn, preparing for a three month northern hemisphere winter sojourn in Italy and Canada.
The year 10 Mt Aspiring College student is working on selection for the 2020 Youth Olympics in Switzerland. He flies out on December 10 for his second northern hemisphere season and will be travelling with the Australian junior ski team and staying with a Canadian host family in Ontario.
During the 2016 northern hemisphere winter, Campbell astounded himself by competing strongly in Ontario club competition, taking wins and second places and ranking 11 at Canada’s Eastern Championships.
Campbell said to rise through the Ontario age group ranks was a big deal because he did not – and still does not – have a lot of age group competition at home, apart from year 13 MAC student Louis Jones.
During the 2017 NZ winter, Campbell manned up to race athletes twice his age and size.
‘‘I sound pretty good on paper. This year I have won the nationals, the Merino Muster 21km and at the Winter Games I was pretty happy with results, considering I was the youngest there by quite a bit’’.
Meanwhile, Paul’s Commonwealth Games and World Cup ambitions have been somewhat disrupted, following two shoulder injuries in 2016 and his decision to study in the United States in 2017, which meant he did not compete in last year’s Nationals or Oceanias.
This season, Paul is determined to get the points he needs for a good start in the 2018 World Cup series. He is targeting the New Zealand Road Nationals in Napier in January.
Sporting brothers Paul Wright, under-23 NZ rep mountainbiker, and Campbell Wright, under-18 NZ rep cross country skier.