News and Events

Mt Hutt ‘all systems go’ for 40th season opening (13-Jun-13)
Immaculately groomed slopes and a genuinely warm welcome await avid skiers and snowboarders.....

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area first to open in Australasia (10-Jun-13)
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area today (June 8) celebrated in style as the first Australasian ski field to open for winter....

Coronet Peak first ski area in Australasia to open on Saturday (05-Jun-13)
Queenstown is officially open for winter as the 2013 season kicks off at Coronet Peak on Saturday (June 8).

Ski Areas Go Out With A Bang! (27-Sep-12)
Season extension and half price passes

Wanaka's Byron Wells Snares Prestigious X-Games Invite (12-Jan-09)

Breckenridge, Colorado, January 12, 2009 - Wanaka freeskier Byron Wells has matched

Wanaka freeskier Byron Wells has matched his brother Jossi’s record as the youngest athlete ever invited to the Winter X Games.

Following a successful 2008 Southern Hemisphere campaign and a strong start to the 2008-2009 Northern Hemisphere season, Byron, 16, was given the nod this week by X-Games officials in North America.

Jossi, 18, was the first Kiwi invited to the competition, and last year he made it pay off, winning a silver medal in the slopestyle competition. This year, they’ll compete side-by-side in the halfpipe.

The news of Byron’s invite came on the heels of his impressive eighth-place finish in the halfpipe competition on the second stop of the Dew Tour at Mt. Snow, Vermont, where all of the the world’s best freestyle skiers are battling it out for top honours. Byron has now reached the finals in each of the first two Dew Tour events of the season.

Byron said the news from X-Games officials came out of the blue via email.

“I was sitting by myself on my computer when the email came through,” he said. “It’s a dream come true. I had the biggest smile on my face.”

Byron’s father, Bruce Wells, said the invite is recognition of the hard work Byron has put in during the past few seasons.

“I’m stoked for Byron,” he said. “He’s always living in Jossi’s shadow, but he deserves this recognition because he’s been up there matching the big boys of the sport,” he said.

Byron served notice this past New Zealand winter, winning both the halfpipe and slopestyle events in his age group at the 2008 New Zealand Junior Nationals, while also finishing as the top New Zealander with fifth in halfpipe at the Volkl New Zealand Freeski Open in August.

Both Jossi and Byron are members of the Freeski Association of New Zealand National Team and are supported by the NZ Winter Performance Programme.

The 13th annual Winter X Games begin on 22 January in Aspen, Colorado, and will feature more than 160 men and women from across the globe competing for medals and prize money in various skiing and snowboarding disciplines.

The event features seven-time snowboard Winter X Games gold medalist and 2006 Winter Olympic gold medalist Shaun White; defending skiing superpipe champion and seven-time Winter X Games gold medalist Tanner Hall, and one of the world’s most accomplished skiers, Daron Rahlves, last year’s Skier X gold medalist, who is widely considered as the most accomplished speed skier in American history with 28 World Cup podiums and three World Championship podiums over the course of the last decade.

All athletes receiving invitations to compete at Winter X Games 13 are chosen by a sport-specific selection committee. Criteria and timing of invitations varies by sport and discipline as it is based on the state and event schedules of that particular sport. The only exception is each gold medalist from Winter X Games 12 (2008) receives an automatic invitation to compete.

ESPN will televise the event in New Zealand from January 23 – January 25 (NZ time).

Information on all X Games events can be found on for fans or on for media only.

Snow Sports New Zealand is the official governing body and National Sports Organisation representing all snow sports in New Zealand. The Freeski Association NZ is a member of Snow Sport New Zealand.

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