Three Wells brothers compete for New Zealand at Olympic Winter Games
Jackson and Beau-James Wells have been selected to represent New Zealand at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The pair join older brother Byron, who was named to the team last year. Their oldest brother, Jossi, this week withdrew himself from the team due to injury.
19-year-old Jackson will compete in freeski slopestyle and 22-year-old Beau-James will compete in freeski halfpipe.
For Beau-James PyeongChang will be his second Olympic Winter Games following his 6th placing in halfpipe at Sochi 2014.
“I feel very blessed to be selected to go to the Olympic Winter Games for the second time and to get to represent our nation on the world stage,” he said.
“It’s sad that Jossi will not be coming with us, but I’m really excited that two of my brothers will be there with me.”
Jackson is looking forward to following in his brothers' footsteps at his first Olympic Winter Games.
“It's such an honour to be selected to the NZ team alongside a lot of great athletes and friends. To be selected means so much to me, to be a part of this team representing New Zealand is a fantastic feeling,” he said.
“I couldn't be happier to follow my older brothers in becoming an Olympic athlete. It's a huge shame Jossi won't be there to compete with us because he’s the one who first gave a profile to New Zealand freeskiing.”
Jackson had a minor operation last week to get a piece of meniscus taken out of his right knee.
“My recovery is going really well, I can already walk around and do balance work which is a great sign. From here I’ll be working to get my knee ready to compete at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado (January 25th) then I will be training hard to prepare for the Olympic Winter Games.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“We’re pleased to have Beau-James back in the team after a very successful showing in Sochi and Jackson is a great addition who has posted strong results throughout his career,” said Kereyn.
“The Wells family is synonymous with New Zealand freeskiing so to have three of the brothers competing for us at PyeongChang is fantastic.”
Snow Sports NZ Performance Director Ashley Light says the brothers have put in years of work ahead of PyeongChang 2018.
"Beau-James and Jackson have worked incredibly hard to meet the stringent selection criteria. Both are coming in to form at the right time and we’re excited about them achieving their goals in PyeongChang."
Jackson is currently in Switzerland but flies to Calgary today to meet up with Byron and Beau-James ahead of the X Games in Aspen, Colorado (January 25th).
Beau-James Wells began skiing when he was three years old and had his sights set on becoming a professional freeskier from a young age. He began competing on the international circuit at the age of 15 and a year later (2012) was selected to represent NZ at the inaugural Youth Olympic Winter Games where he placed fourth in halfpipe. He became Junior World Champ in halfpipe in 2014, hung onto his title in 2015 and also added a silver medal in slopestyle. In 2014 Beau-James represented New Zealand at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games placing 6th in halfpipe and 21st in slopestyle.
Beau James finished 10th in a world-class field at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ. Last year he also placed 6th at the Copper Mountain World Cup in Colorado.
Career highlights: 2nd place Dew Tour halfpipe 2015; 2015 & 2014 Freeski Halfpipe Junior World Champion; 6th in halfpipe at 2014 Olympic Winter Games
The youngest of the Wells clan, Jackson, AKA 'Wacko' has managed to bring his own creative style to skiing. He began lapping the park on his home mountain of Cardrona soon after he could walk but also spent valuable time refining his technique on the race track.
Jackson oozes pure enjoyment on snow and is easy to spot from the huge grin on his face. While Jackson is most at home shredding the park he, like his elder brothers before him, has a background in ski racing and achieved some solid results as a junior racer. Jackson represented NZ in freeski at the 2014 and 2015 FIS Junior World Champs and at the 2016 Youth Olympic Winter Games. In 2017 he earned his first X Games medal bronze in Big Air.
Career highlights: Bronze medal Big Air, X Games 2017; 4th place slopestyle FIS Junior World Championships 2015; 6th place slopestyle FIS World Cup, Silvaplana 2016