You've heard all about the Wells brothers but there's another skier from Wanaka you might want to keep on your radar ahead of the Winter Olympics in February.
In a field stacked with the world's best free-skiers, Wanaka's Lyndon Sheehan posted the second-highest score of 85.60 in qualifying for the freestyle ski halfpipe World Cup final at Cardrona yesterday.
The 25-year-old was bettered only by world No 3, Canadian Mike Riddle, meaning Sheehan's dream of competing in the Olympics next year is still on track.
To qualify for next year's Winter Olympics, half-pipe skiers must finish within the top 30 rankings for the World Cup season ending in late January.
New Zealand has four skiers in that bracket. The three oldest Wells boys, Jossi (17th), Byron (10th) and Beau-James (20th) occupy three spots, while Sheehan sits at 23rd.
Because the skiers qualify for nation spots, not individual spots, national selectors may choose others to fill the four likely spots although, barring major injuries, this would be unlikely.
Consistent performances at the final two World Cup events in Colorado and California in December and January should garner Sheehan enough competition points to stay in the top 30.
"I've been going pretty good, and this event should help my case for Russia," he said. "My goal since I started aiming for the Olympics was just keep getting consistent results.
"I've been doing that with every comp I go to. Hopefully I can keep that going. As a kid, I grew up watching the Olympics and that sort of thing, so it's exciting to see it could be a reality now."
Sheehan landed a switch 1080, which involves a skier heading into a jump backwards and turning three times in the air, in his first run, and a forward 1080, where he headed into the jump facing forward, in his final run.
"With those tricks, I think that showed the judges enough to think that I was worthy to go through to the finals," he said.
Beau-James Wells also qualified for the men's final at Cardrona today as part of the NZ Winter Games, with a score of 81.80.
The 17-year-old said to compete alongside his brothers at the next Olympics would be "very special".
"How can you beat representing your country along with your brothers at an Olympic Games? I don't think you can."
World No 6 Thomas Krief, of France, also qualified for the final though compatriot and world No 9 Joffrey Pollet-Villard crashed out on his final run and looked to have badly injured his right ankle.
Among the women, Kiwi Janina Kuzma made it through to today's final, while American Angeli Vanlaanen, ranked ninth in the world, finished top.
- © Fairfax NZ News