Hall and Wells take overall snow sports award


Paralympic gold medallist Adam Hall and freeskiing’s overall world champ Jossi Wells have been jointly crowned snow sports athlete of the year.

During a glitzy Snow Sports New Zealand awards in downtown Queenstown last night, Hall and Wells were praised for their achievements over the past year.

Hall, whose stellar season culminated in winning gold in the stand up slalom event at Vancouver in March, takes the overall award for the third consecutive year.

Hall, who has spina bifida, accepted his award via video from Winter Park, Colorado, where he’s currently taking a break from the snow.

World freeski champion Wells has brought home awards like the 2010 AFP superpipe title, a silver medal for superpipe at the X Games, a gold medal at the Austrian Open and winning the Dew Tour ski superpipe championships.

Picking a winner was “one of the hardest decisions we’ve ever had to make”, SSNZ boss Ross Palmer says.

“[Hall and Wells] each set very high goals for themselves, and they both were able to achieve those goals, so it’s fitting that they share this award for their achievements.”

Queenstowners Nigel Brown and Hamish Bagley took top honours in their categories.

Snowboarder Hamish, a Wakatipu High Year 10 student, won the emerging talent of the year award for his accomplishments, including taking out second place at the USA Snowboard Association Nationals’ under-14 halfpipe competition in Colorado. He’s also currently the NZ under-14 halfpipe champ.

Brown, a familiar behind-the-scenes face helping out at alpine events, won volunteer of the year.

Other category winners are:
Adaptive snow sports athlete of the year: Adam Hall
Alpine ski racer of the year: Ben Griffin
Cross-country skier of the year: Nat Anglem
Freeskier of the year: Jossi Wells
Snowboarder of the year: Shelly Gotlieb
Coach of the year: Bruce Wells