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Ski Movie Star Trains Young New Zealanders

29 July 2005

Ski Movie Star Trains Young New Zealanders

Two of New Zealand’s most promising free skiers have attracted the attention of one of the biggest names in extreme sports movies who has come to train at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Mike Wilson, who has appeared in a number of movies by leading filmmakers, Matchstick Productions, enjoys celebrity status in his home country of the USA, and is renowned for his big mountain and terrain park skiing.

He has joined Wanaka brothers, Jossi (15) and Byron (12) Wells on the Cardrona Freeride Team and will train with them throughout the season helping them to achieve their goals in competitions such as the Junior Free Ski Nationals and the Free Ski Open NZ, both of which take place in August. Jossi is current national champion in the slopestyle and half pipe while Byron is the current junior national champion.

Wilson, who turned pro at just 13, understands better than anyone the pressures and commitment that are involved with becoming an international athlete and this is invaluable information he’ll be sharing with the Wells brothers.

“We get up the hill as early as possible and just ski together,” he said. “We’re constantly trying to outdo each other, trying new tricks and working at making them bigger, smoother and better. I’m regarded as one of the better big air jumpers and can teach them a lot more jumping techniques than they could learn on their own.”

“He’s pretty out there,” said Jossi. “Everyone is totally in awe of what he does and can’t believe he’s here. They’ve seen him in the movies and now he’s here, skiing at Cardrona! It’s amazing training with him as he’s so good. He really pushes me when I ski with him and I try things I haven’t done before – he’s kind of a coach, kind of a training partner and both Byron and I are getting heaps out of it.”

Wilson met the Wells brothers while they were training in Park City, USA and, impressed by their skiing, decided to head to New Zealand for his summer training.

“I came here for two reasons, to ski New Zealand and ski it with Jossi and Byron. It’s great to be away from the pressures of being a pro skier at home. Here I can just ski and make sure skiing stays fun. So far the terrain seems pretty impressive with some good steeps and cliff drops – not super long lines but a good length and enough to have fun. I’m here for as long as I can be!”

The Junior Free Ski Nationals take place at Cardrona Alpine Resort from 5-8 August and features the big mountain, skier-x, half pipe and slopestyle disciplines. For further information visit www.freeskier.co.nz.

July 2005

ENDS

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