Sochi Olympic dream all over for Byron Wells

12:28, Feb 18 2014
Ole Einar Bjoerndalen
Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen equalled compatriot Bjorn Dahlie's Winter Games record of 12 medals after claiming gold in the men's biathlon 10km sprint.
Andi Langenhan
Germany's Andi Langenhan takes off from the start in the men's singles luge competition.
Zhang Kexin
China's Zhang Kexin competes during the figure skating team ladies short program.
Tereza Vaculikova
Tereza Vaculikova of the Czech Republic crashes out in the ladies' moguls qualification.
Nicole Parks
Australia's Nicole Parks performs a jump during the women's freestyle skiing moguls qualification round.
Jayna Hefford
Canada's Jayna Hefford shoots on Switzerland's Florence Schelling during their women's ice hockey group game.
Reuters
American Sage Kotsenburg celebrates with his gold medal, the first awarded in Sochi.
Anders Bardal
Norway's Anders Bardal soars through the air during his trial jump in the men's ski jumping individual normal hill qualification round.
Sven Kramer
Gold medalist Sven Kramer competes in the men's 5000m speed skating event.
Women's skiathlon
The field in the women's skiathlon, won by Norway's Marit Bjoergen, head away from the start.
Winter Olympics
Julia Mancuso of the USA celebrates in the finish area after competing during the downhill run of the women's alpine skiing super combined event.
Winter Olympics
Germany's skip John Jahr delivers a stone during their men's curling round robin game against Canada.
Winter Olympics
Canada's Zina Kocher shoots during the women's biathlon 7.5km sprint event.
Winter Olympics
Estonia's Grete Gaim reacts after crossing the finish line during the women's biathlon 7.5km sprint event.
Winter Olympics
Irene Wust of the Netherlands skates to first place during the women's 3000m speed skating.
Winter Olympics
Winner Germany's Felix Loch celebrates after completing his final run in the men's singles luge competition.
Dara Howell
Canadian Dara Howell on her way to gold in the women's freestyle skiing slopestyle.
Danny Davis
American Danny Davis competes in the men's snowboard halfpipe qualifying.
Curling arena
A view of the curling arena during men's pool matches.
Jennifer Harss
German netminder Jennifer Harss reaches back but can't prevent Sweden from scoring.
Lee Sang-hwa
Lee Sang-hwa skates a victory lap with the South Korean flag after blitzing the Olympic record to win the women's 500m.
Russian fans
Russian ice hockey fans wave flags during a game between Sweden and Germany.
Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch
Germany's Maria Hoefl-Riesch makes her way down in her slalom run in the women's super combined.
Russian hockey
The Russian men's ice hockey team stretch at centre-ice during a practice session.
Sarah Reid
Canada's Sarah Reid shows off her spooky helmet during a skeleton training run.
Paul De La Cuesta
Spain's Paul De La Cuesta prepares to start during the downhill run of the men's alpine skiing super combined training session.
Skeleton helmets
A montage of skeleton racers' helmets, including New Zealand's Ben Sandford (top line, third left)
Olympic flame
Tourists watch as workers repel down the Olympic flame structure in Sochi.
Charles Hamelin
Charles Hamelin of Canada celebrates his victory in the men's 1500m short track speed skating final.
Aleksey Pavlenko
Russia's Aleksey Pavlenko performs a jump during the men's freestyle skiing moguls qualification round.
Norway curling
Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud (right) delivers the stone during their men's curling round robin game against the USA.
Sochi Olympics 2014
Coline Mattel of France wins the bronze medal at the women's ski jumping.
Sochi Olympics 2014
Sarah Hendrickson of the US soars through the air at the women's ski jumping.
Sochi Olympics 2014
South Korea's Lee Sang-hwa skates during the women's 500 metres speed skating race.
Sochi Olympics 2014
Members of Japan's women's ice hockey team bow to the crowd after their loss to Russia.
Eric Frenzel
Germany's Eric Frenzel crosses the line ahead of Japan's Akito Watabe to win the men's nordic combined normal hill event.
Kendall Coyne
A referee falls on Team USA's Kendall Coyne after she collided with Canada's Meaghan Mikkelson during the first period of their women's ice hockey game.
Dorin Velicu
Romania's Dorin Velicu speeds down the track during a men's skeleton training event at the Sanki Sliding Center in Rosa Khutor.
Martins Dukurs
Latvia's Martins Dukurs is reflected in the sunglasses of an Olympic volunteer as he speeds down the track during a men's skeleton training run.
Dominique Gisin
Switzerland's Dominique Gisin speeds down the course on her way to tying for gold in the women's alpine skiing downhill.
Kelly Clark
Kelly Clark of the US flies high above the halfpipe during the women's snowboard qualification round.
Norwegian curling
Norway's second Christoffer Svae delivers a stone during their men's curling round robin game against Germany.
Sochi Olympic flame
A tourist poses under a set of Olympic rings as the sun rises on the Sochi Olympic Park.
Switzerland's Dominique Gisin and Slovenia's Tina Maze
Joint gold medalists Switzerland's Dominique Gisin and Slovenia's Tina Maze step onto the podium together, next to an empty step for silver at the flower ceremony for the women's downhill.
Stephanie Magiros
Australia's Stephanie Magiros waits for her score during the women's snowboard halfpipe qualifying round.
Joss Christensen
Gold medalist Joss Christensen (left) bumps knuckles with bronze medalist Nicholas Goepper after the USA swept the men's ski slopestyle podium.
Monique Angermueller
Germany's Monique Angermueller crashes out of the women's 1000m speed skating semifinals.
Andrei Markov
Russia's Andrei Markov (left) chases down Slovenia's Ziga Jeglic for the puck during the second period of their men's preliminary round ice hockey game.
Michael Christian Martinez
Michael Christian Martinez of the Philippines competes during the men's figure skating short program.
Dutch fans
Dutch fans cheer on their athletes during speed skating action at the Adler Arena.
Kexin Fan
China's Kexin Fan collides face-first with a Games volunteer after crashing out of the women's 500m semifinals.
Sandro Viletta
Super combined gold medalist Sandro Viletta of Switzerland in action during the downhill.
Zhang Xin
China's Zhang Xin crashes during the women's aerials qualifying.
Martin Fourcade
France's Martin Fourcade (centre) on the medal dais for the men's biathlon 20km individual event.
Norwegian curling pants
The latest in pants choice by the Norwegian men's curling team.
Melissa Hollingsworth
Canada's Melissa Hollingsworth dons a cowboy hat after completing her last run in the women's skeleton.
Igor Laikert
Bosnia and Herzogovina's Igor Laikert gets airborne during the downhill phase of the men's super combined.
Ioan Valeriu Achiriloaie
Romania's Ioan Valeriu Achiriloaie gets caught up in the safety nets during his downhill run in the men's super combined.
Course sweepers
Course sweepers make their way down the mountain at Rosa Khutor.
Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Alfredsson celebrates his game-winning goal in Sweden's 1-0 win against Switzerland.
Xu Mengtao
China's Xu Mengtao competes during the women's aerials qualifying.
Christof Innerhofer
Bronze medalist Christof Innerhofer of Italy does a forward roll to get on the men's super combined podium.
John Fairbairn
Canada's John Fairbairn, who finished seventh, powers away from the start of his final skeleton run.
Charles Hamelin
Canada's Charles Hamelin (left) and USA's Eduardo Alvarez crash out of the men's 1000m short track speed skating event.
Charlotte Kalla
Charlotte Kalla crosses the finish line as her Sweden team-mates celebrate winning the women's 4x5km relay gold.
Skeleton lips
An American fan's lips at the skeleton event show off the USA flag.
Jason Lamy Chappuis
France's Jason Lamy Chappuis takes a practice jump from the large hill before the men's nordic combined event.
Emma Eliasson
Sweden's Emma Eliasson shoves Finland's Linda Valimaki into the boards during their preliminary round game.
Anna Fenninger
Austria's Anna Fenninger scorches her way down the piste on her way to gold in the women's super-G.
Pavel Datsyuk
Russian captain Pavel Datsyuk sneaks the puck by USA goalie Jonathan Quick during the second period of their game.
TJ Oshie
USA's TJ Oshie celebrates his game-winning goal against Russia's Sergei Bobrovski in the eighth round of the shootout.
Viktor Ahn
Viktor Ahn and Vladimir Grigorev celebrate a Russian 1-2 in the men's 1000m short track race.
Yevgeni Malkin
Yevgeni Malkin lies on the ice after being hit in the face by a stick during Russia's 3-1 loss to Finland in the men's ice hockey quarterfinals.
Patrizia Kummer
Switzerland's Patrizia Kummer screams after claiming gold in the women's snowboard parallel giant slalom.
Marit Bjoergen
Gold medalists Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Marit Bjoergen of Norway leap for the cameras after being part of the winning Norwegian team in the women's team sprint classic.
Ted Ligety
Ted Ligety exorcised some Olympic demons with victory in the men's giant slalom.
Ted Ligety
American Ted Ligety gets a little loose going around a gate during his second giant slalom run.
EJ Harnden
Canada's second EJ Harnden shouts as China's third Xu Xiaoming (left) and skip Liu Rui (right) look on and Canada's vice Ryan Fry and lead Ryan Harnden stand nearby during their men's curling semifinal game.
Finland-Russia hockey
Russia's Anton Belov (right) checks Finland's Olli Jokinen during the first period of their men's ice hockey quarterfinal.
Finland-Russia hockey
Finland's Leo Komarov (71) and Ossi Vaananen (4) deal with Alexander Radulov after the Russian crashed into Finland netminder Tuuka Rask.
Olga Graf and Shiho Ishizawa
Russia's Olga Graf (left) and Japan's Shiho Ishizawa skate during the women's 5000 metres speed skating finals.
Poland's pilot Dawid Kupczyk
Poland's pilot Dawid Kupczyk (right) and his teammates link hands ahead of a run during a four-man bobsleigh training session at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Joergen Graabak
Norway's Joergen Graabak holds off German Fabian Riessle's desperate lunge at the finish line to win the men's team large hill nordic combined 4x5km relay event.
Norway nordic combined team
The victorious Norwegian men's nordic combined team slide in celebration as they head to the podium for the flower ceremony.
Skicross final
Eventual gold medalist Jean Frederic Chapuis of France (yellow) leads in his ski-cross semifinal.
Skicross final
France's Jean Frederic Chapuis (left) leads compatriots Arnaud Bovolenta and Jonathan Midol and Canada's Brady Leman in the men's ski-cross final.
Fanny Rask
Sweden's Fanny Rask skates between gloves, masks and sticks discarded by the victorious Swiss team.
Women's ski halfpipe
Annalisa Drew, Brita Sigourney (centre) and Maddie Bowman (top) practice during warm sessions ahead of the women's ski halfpipe qualification round.
Canada curling
Canada's second Jill Officer (left) and lead Dawn McEwen (right) prepare to sweep as skip Jennifer Jones delivers a stone in their women's gold medal curling game against Sweden.
Switzerland curling
Switzerland's Carmen Kueng delivers a stone during the women's bronze medal curling game against Great Britain.
Mikaela Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin on her way to becoming the youngest Olympic slalom champion.
Mikaela Shiffrin
American teen Mikaela Shiffrin crosses the line to win the women's slalom by 0.53 seconds.
Canadian curlers
Canada's second EJ Harnden (left) hugs wife Rachelle as skip Brad Jacobs hugs wife Shawna after winning men's curling gold.
Sidney Crosby
Canadian star Sidney Crosby skates during warm-ups ahead of their semifinal against the USA.
Italy bobsled
Pilot Simone Bertazzo of Italy speeds down the track during a four-man bobsleigh training run at the Sanki sliding centre in this multiple exposure image.
Valerie Maltais
Canada's Valerie Maltais' disappointment is evident after crashing out of the women's 1000m short track semifinals.
Bernadette Schild
Austria's Bernadette Schild sits on the snow, with head in hands after crashing during her second run of the women's slalom.
Viktor Ahn
Russia's Viktor Ahn collected his second and third gold medals in Sochi on Day 14, and fifth and sixth overall.
Jamie Benn
Canada's Jamie Benn (centre) celebrates his second period goal that proved the difference in the semifinal.
Biathlon team relay
Russia's Yana Romanova prepares to shoot next to Vita Semerenko (right) during the women's biathlon 4x6 km relay event.
Mario Matt
Austria's Mario Matt held off compatriot Marcel Hirscher to become the oldest alpine skiing gold medal winner.
Finland bench
Towels go flying as the Finland bench pour onto the ice to celebrate their 5-0 rout of the USA in the men's ice hockey bronze medal game.
Norwegian skiers
Norway's Marit Bjoergen, Kristin Stoermer Steira and Therese Johaug (left to right) lead during the women's cross-country 30 km mass start free event.
Norwegian skiers
Norway's Therese Johaug, Marit Bjoergen and Kristin Stoermer Steira (left to right) celebrate after winning the women's cross-country 30 km mass start free event.
Anton Shipulin
Russia's Anton Shipulin lets out a scream after crossing the line ahead of Germany's Simon Schempp in the men's 4x7.5km biathlon relay.
Martins Onskulis
Latvia's Martins Onskulis in action in the men's slalom in this multiple exposure image.
Denis Yuskov
Denis Yuskov leads team-mates Aleksey Yesin and Aleksandr Rumyantsev during the men's speed skating team pursuit finals.
Patrick Thaler
Italy's Patrick Thaler gets a face full of snow after crashing out of the men's slalom.
Dutch skaters
Dutch speed skaters Marrit Leenstra, Jorien Ter Mors, Lotte van Beek and Irene Wust kiss their gold medals after dominating the women's team pursuit final.
Kim
South Korea's Kim Yuna performs during the figure skating gala exhibition.
Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby celebrates his second period goal in Canada's 3-0 victory over Sweden in the men's ice hockey gold medal game.
Alexander Zubkov
Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov and team-mate Alexey Negodaylo raise their arms triumphantly after winning the four-man bobsled gold at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Alexander Legkov
Silver medalist Maxim Vylegzhanin, gold medalist Alexander Legkov and bronze medalist Ilia Chernousov after the host nation swept the podium in the men's 50km mass start cross-country race.
Men's 50km mass start
Competitors in the men's 50km mass start cross-country race head past a giant sign for the Sochi Games.
Women's parallel snowboarding
Japan's Tomoka Takeuchi (left) and Switzerland's Julie Zogg compete during the women's parallel slalom snowboarding competition, in this multiple exposure image.
Anton Shipulin
Russia's Anton Shipulin shoots during the men's biathlon 4x7.5 km biathlon relay.

The Winter Olympics campaign of Byron Wells is over before it even began, with the Wanaka freeskier pulling out of halfpipe competition in Sochi tomorrow morning due to a leg injury.

Wells suffered a bad landing attempting to complete a switch double alley-oop trick, practising for the Olympic halfpipe qualifiers at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on Saturday morning (NZ time).

Wells, who is ranked 16th in the world in freeski halfpipe, immediately thought he broke his leg, though after receiving treatment at the athlete's medical centre in Sochi, this was found not to be the case.

Sochi opening ceremony
Shane Dobbin leads the New Zealand team into Fisht Stadium.
NZ snowboarders
Snowboarders Shelly Gotlieb, Stefi Luxton, Christy Prior and Rebecca Torr are interviewed by Sky Sport's Hayley Holt.
NZ snowboarders
Snowboarders Shelly Gotlieb, Stefi Luxton, Christy Prior and Rebecca Torr pose in the Olympic rings in the athletes village.
NZ Olympic team
Members of the NZ Olympic team arrive at the Athletes Village at Rosa Khutor.
NZ Olympic team
Members of the NZ Olympic team are welcomed to the Athletes Village at Rosa Khutor.
NZ Olympic team
Flagbearer Shane Dobbin leads the New Zealand team into the Olympic stadium.
Shane Dobbin
Speed skater Shane Dobbin practises at the Adler Arena Skating Centre.
Shane Dobbin
NZ flagbearer Shane Dobbin is presented with the Te Mahutonga cloak and a pounamu pendant by Chef de Mission Peter Wardell.
Shane Dobbin
NZ flagbearer Shane Dobbin at the Athletes Village.
Shelly Gotlieb
Shelly Gotlieb presents a Games volunteer with a New Zealand pin.
Shelly Gotlieb
Shelly Gotlieb competes in the women's snowboard slopestyle qualification round.
Stefi Luxton
Stefi Luxton competes in the women's snowboard slopestyle qualification round.
Christy Prior
Christy Prior competes in the women's snowboard slopestyle qualification round.
Rebecca Torr
Rebecca Torr competes in the women's snowboard slopestyle qualification round.
Bryon Wells
Byron Wells waves to the crowd as the New Zealand team enters the Olympic stadium.
Beau-James Wells
Beau-James Wells gets some air during the men's ski slopestyle practice.
Beau-James Wells
Beau-James Wells
Jossi Wells
With the mountains as a back-drop, Jossi Wells practises for the men's ski slopestyle.
Anna Willox-Silfverberg
Anna Willox-Silfverberg goes big during women's ski slopestyle training.
Ben Sandford
Skeleton racer Ben Sandford makes his way down a practice run at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Katharine Eustace
Katharine Eustace completes a run during skeleton practice at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Shelly Gotlieb
Snowboarder Shelly Gotlieb and Chef de Mission Peter Wardell tour the New Zealand section at the Athletes Village.
Shane Dobbin
New Zealand's Shane Dobbin competes against Russia's Ivan Skobrev during the men's 5000m.
Shane Dobbin
Shane Dobbin competes in the men's 5000m speed skating competition.
Ben Sandford
Kiwi skeleton racer Ben Sandford waits to take a practice run at the Sanki Sliding Centre.
Anna Willcox
Anna Willcox's New Zealand and Olympics inspired nails.
Anna Willcox
Anna Willcox has a message for back home after her first run in women's ski slopestyle qualifying.
Anna Willcox
Anna Willcox goes big
Shelly Gotlieb
Shelly Gotlieb is dwarfed by the mountains and sky during her semifinals run.
Rebecca Torr
Rebecca Torr competes in the women's snowboard slopestyle semifinals.
Wells boys
The three Wells brothers (from left) Beau-James, Jossi and Byron, with father Bruce (second right).
Bex Sinclair
New Zealand's Bex Sinclair competes in the women's snowboard halfpipe qualifying at Rosa Khutor.
Katharine Eustace
Skeleton racer Katharine Eustace gets in a practice run at the Sanki Sliding Center.
Jossi Wells
Jossi Wells competes in the men's ski slopestyle qualifying round.
Jossi Wells
New Zealand's Jossi Wells reacts after a run during the men's ski slopestyle final.
Beau-James Wells
Beau-James Wells competes during the men's ski slopestyle qualification round.
Katharine Eustace
Katharine Eustace hurtles down the skeleton ice during the first of two runs.
Katharine Eustace
Katharine Eustace waves to the crowd after one of her two skeleton heats runs.
Katharine Eustace
Katharine Eustace waves to the crowd after her third run during the women's skeleton at the Sanki Sliding Center.
Ben Sandford
Ben Sandford quipped to media after his first two skeleton runs: "I'm usually pretty good at skeleton".
Katharine Eustace
Katharine Eustace matched Jossi Wells' 11th-place finish as best New Zealand result in Sochi.
Ben Sandford
Ben Sandford qualified for the men's skeleton final, finishing 20th.
Ben Sandford
Skeleton racer Ben Sandford was the only Kiwi in action on Day 8 in Sochi.
Ben Sandford
Ben Sandford flies down the Sanki track to his best time of 57.67 seconds.
Jossi Wells
Jossi Wells in action during qualifying for the men's ski halfpipe final.
Beau-James Wells
Beau-James Wells in action during qualifying for the men's ski halfpipe final.
Lyndon Sheehan
Lyndon Sheehan gets upside-down during men's ski halfpipe qualifying.
Shane Dobbin
Shane Dobbin flies around Adler Arena during the men's 10,000m final.
Shane Dobbin
Shane Dobbin skates to seventh in the men's 10,000m final.
Adam Barwood
New Zealand's Adam Barwood brushes by a gate during one of his giant slalom runs.
Jossi Wells
Jossi Wells awaits his score after a round during the men's ski halfpipe final at Rosa Khutor.
Adam Barwood
Queenstown's Adam Barwood speeds down the giant slalom course, on his way to 44th out of 109 in the men's event.
Janina Kuzma
New Zealand's Janina Kuzma in action during the women's ski halfpipe qualification round.
Janina Kuzma
Kiwi Janina Kuzma anxiously awaits her score after a women's ski halfpipe qualifying run.
Janina Kuzma
Janina Kuzma flies high during the women's ski halfpipe final.
Adam Barwood
Queenstown's Adam Barwood completed his first slalom run in 54.21 seconds.
Adam Barwood
Adam Barwood, the last New Zealander in action in Sochi.
Adam Barwood
New Zealand's Adam Barwood managed 26th overall in the men's slalom.

However, Wells had suffered significant soft tissue damage, and, as of this morning, was still unable to put on a ski boot or walk - forcing him to make the decision to pull out of competition.

"I'm completely devastated," he said. "I had my sights set on a podium finish and was determined to get out there and do it."

Wells finished fourth at the Olympic test event in Sochi last February and represented New Zealand's best chance of a top finish in the event in Sochi.

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Byron Wells
FALL GUY: Byron Wells faces an agonising wait to see if he can compete.

The Sochi halfpipe has been criticised by some athletes for its dangerous nature, but Wells refused to blame the lie of the course for his injury.

"I have nothing bad to say about the pipe," he told Fairfax Media.

"The pipe was in perfect condition. I wouldn't have tried the trick otherwise. Things like this happen with this sport.

"If you don't land tricks, things can go wrong and can go pretty bad. "After looking at footage of me from crashing out, I'm wondering why I didn't break it. It's just part of what we do, and you've got to move on."

Byron wasn't the only Kiwi heading into freeski halfpipe competition carrying an injury.

Elder brother Jossi experienced a slight tweak in his knee during qualification for the slopestyle final last week, and Lyndon Sheehan has been out of action for four weeks after twisting his left knee in the FIS Freestyle World Cup event in Breckenridge, Colorado. Beau-James Wells is also due to compete tomorrow and has a full bill of health.

Sheehan, ranked 21st in the world, has trained on the Sochi halfpipe over the weekend and is confident his knee will be fine for competition tomorrow morning.

"My knee felt great, and the pipe was feeling really good," the Wanaka-based freeskier said. "I'm feeling pretty strong with it."

Sheehan, who finished 22nd at the Olympic test event last year, said the Kiwi freeski halfpipe quartet was not feeling increased pressure to perform in their event after a under-par Winter Olympic campaign for New Zealand so far.

"I don't think there is too much extra pressure," he said. "For us, this is another comp with the same competitors we are used to every other time.

"We just have to stay in that same kind of mindset, and not over-analyse things too much."

Fairfax Media