Date: 7th February 2014
So you’ve heard about our talented Winter Olympic athletes that are in Sochi for this month’s Winter Olympics – The Wells brothers, Jossi, Byron and Beau-James; the ‘Awesome Foursome’ slopestyle ladies Christy Prior, Possom Torr, Stefi Luxton and Shelly Gotleib to name but a few*…… many of them hailing from, or training the winter season in #gigatownWanaka.
But you may not know that New Zealand also has a strong contingent of behind-the-scenes workers in Sochi. We can proudly say that many of these unsung heroes come from our little part of the world. Some of them are there to support our athletes as coaches and sponsors and some of them are there working for the IOC (International Olympic Committee).
Here are just a few that have a connection to Wanaka:
Snow Sports NZ has sent a strong crew of coaches and support staff including legends Bruce Wells, Peter Legnasky, Will Jackways, Adam Dooney, Colin Bartlett and head coach Tom Willmott (Scotty’s next door neighbour). With the job of getting the crew there, with all their gear, tickets, insurance and uniforms Nic Cavanagh is in charge of operations and logistics.
Aside from the coaches and other athlete support staff, we have some talented Kiwis playing their part in other ways:
The stylish Wanaka based Mons Royale is not so much behind the scenes as beneath… Mons has provided the entire team with limited edition New Zealand Olympic Team Monsie’s (one-piece thermal underwear), naturally in black with white trimming and imprinted with the Silver Fern and the Olympic rings. Custom Base layers and Hoodies round off a pretty sweet Olympic kit for the team.
Mons Royale boss, Hamish Acland is on the ground Sochi with the team and delivering the latest news via their daily blog.
John Melville, CEO of Development Snowparks and specialist snowcat driver, was part of a crew that built the last Olympic halfpipe in Vancouver in 2010. This time he is heading his own crew. John and his Kiwi team from Wanaka have the mammoth task of building, shaping and maintaining the 22 foot superpipe in Sochi. They are joined by another ‘team member’ shipped from Wanaka for the Games, the super-sized Global Cutter half pipe shaping machine.
To our the Kiwi crew, either in front of the cameras, or behind the scenes, we wish you all the best. It’s #gameon time!
*The Olympic athletes are:
Janina Kuzma (Freeski Halfpipe), Lyndon Sheehan (Freeski Halfpipe), Jossi Wells (Freeski Halfpipe and Slopestyle), Byron Wells (Freeski Halfpipe) Beau-James Wells (Freeski Halfpipe and Slopestyle), Anna Willcox (Freeski Slopestyle), Shane Dobbin (Ice Speed Skating – Long Track), Katharine Eustace (Skeleton), Ben Sandford (Skeleton), Adam Barwood (Slalom and Giant), Shelly Gotlieb (Snowboard Slopestyle), Stefi Luxton (Snowboard Slopestyle), Christy Prior (Snowboard Slopestyle), Rebecca Sinclair (Snowboard Halfpipe), Rebecca Torr (Snowboard Slopestyle)
*The Paralympic athletes are Adam Hall, Corey Peters and Carl Murphy.
To watch the coverage of our athletes, check the Snow Sports NZ competition schedule.
You can read more about the local businesses mentioned above, and others, in our blogs: