Two-time Olympic freeskier Byron Wells has announced his retirement from competitive freeskiing.
Wells has been a consistent member of Snowsports NZ’s elite freeski team representing New Zealand globally in Slopestyle and Halfpipe for more than a decade. With a surname that is synonymous with success, it was no surprise to those that knew Wells when he burst onto the International Freeski scene in 2008 at just 15 years old.
With his brothers as his team-mates and his father as his coach, Wells set out to make his mark on the freeski world. His impressive career included competing in 15 World Cups, eight Winter X Games appearances and a prestigious Dew Tour podium. Wells is a member of both the Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 New Zealand Olympic Winter Games teams.
As Wells reflects on his freeskiing career he would like to share the following message and acknowledgements:
“It has been an amazing journey this past 15 years as a professional skier, full of moments and friends I will cherish for the rest of my life. It was a roller coaster of a career, plagued with injury for the better part, but looking back there were some amazing highs as well. My career didn’t turn out as I had planned in my head but nonetheless, I enjoyed the success I did achieve and got to travel the world doing what I love with my family. I wouldn’t change a thing as it has made me the man I am today.
I feel like now is the time to close this chapter of my life and focus on things that are now more important to me - as I’ve grown older my priorities have certainly evolved. My body is pretty beat up; my knees have been screaming at me for the last five years and I feel if I stop now, I can get back to a point where I’m able to do some of the other things I love and keep enjoying this amazing life. I want to be able to kick a ball around with my kids one day, go on hikes and explore this beautiful backyard of mine without pain - and of course still enjoy getting on snow and putting out some film parts! I'm also really looking forward to some summers after 17 years of back-to-back winters.
So, what’s next for Byron Wells? "I have been studying my Commercial helicopter license for a few years now and looking forward to finishing that off and starting a new career flying around the skies. I also proposed to the woman of my dreams, Ashleigh, and I can’t wait for what the future holds for us both".PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games