Jossi Wells named NZ flag bearer for ceremony

23:47, Feb 22 2014
Jossi Wells
AGONY: Jossi Wells narrowly missed out on becoming the first Kiwi in 22 years to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.

Jossi Wells will lead the New Zealand team at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi tomorrow morning (NZT).

The announcement was made at an informal team gathering in Rosa Khutor near the athletes village. The freeskier was New Zealand's best performing athlete at the games, finishing fourth in the halfpipe.

Chef de Mission Pete Wardell, who made the announcement, said Wells stood out.

"He delivered a career-best performance, overcoming disappointment in the slopestyle to put down a scintillating run in the halfpipe," said Wardell.

"He's a figurehead within the team and the athletes are all delighted he's going to be leading them into the stadium tomorrow."

Wells said carrying the New Zealand flag in the ceremony would be special.

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"It's such an honour, I'm so happy," said the delighted skier moments after being named flag bearer.

"The opening ceremony just took my breath away so if it's anything like that, leading the whole crew in there, carrying the flag will be a pretty unreal.''

Wells added that he had been proud to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games.

"I can't really put it into words," he said. "It's been absolutely amazing, just being at the pinnacle of the sporting world. Wearing the silver fern and to having the support of the entire nation has been absolutely unreal.

"I skied the best runs of my life in the pipe and to be able to peak when it counted was unreal."

Wells, along with the rest of the New Zealand Olympic team will leave Sochi on Monday night, most heading back to Northern Hemisphere competition.

The closing ceremony takes place at 5am tomorrow (NZT).

The New Zealand Olympic team completed competition in Sochi with four top-eight performances and 11 top-16s.

Fairfax Media