Top Kiwi athletes preparing for Winter Olympic

With less than three months to go until the Winter Olympics, New Zealand's top freeski and snowboard athletes are once again preparing for winter.

While some members of the team have already travelled to the northern hemisphere to begin training, the remaining few, including brothers Jossi, Byron and Beau-James Wells will leave New Zealand on Monday.

Heading for Colorado, the freeski and snowboard athletes will make the most of the last remaining qualifying events to improve individual rankings and guarantee their place on the New Zealand Olympic team.

The first qualifying event of the 2013-14 northern hemisphere season will be the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cup at Copper Mountain Resort in Colorado, in the United States, from December 18 to 21.

New Zealand athletes will compete in snowboard halfpipe along with the new Olympic disciplines of snowboard slopestyle, freeski halfpipe and freeski slopestyle.

The New Zealand Olympic team is expected to be made up of 14 to 20 athletes across both ice and snow sports, with the majority of athletes competing in the freeski and snowboard events.

New Zealand Olympic team selection will be complete by January 17 and the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, run from February 7 to 23.

The Southland Times