JOSSI WELLS WAS ANNOUNCED THE AFP OVERALL WORLD CHAMPION EARLIER THIS WEEK BY THE ASSOCIATION OF FREESKIING PROFESSIONALS. THE ATOMIC RIDER CLINCHED THE TITLE ALREADY TWO EVENTS BEFORE THE END OF THE SEASON DUE TO HIS OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES IN ALL THREE FREESTYLE DISCIPLINES.
The Association of Freeskiing Professionals – in short AFP – had a busy schedule these past months. From the NZ Open to the in-city big air comps in Europe and the Dew Tour in the United States, both X Games in Aspen and Tignes plus all major national open events and important invitationals like the JOI, they employed all important international contests to determine the AFP Champions in the three
freestyle disciplines “Halfpipe”, “Slopestyle” and “Big Air”, plus of course the “Overall AFP World Champion”. But while the season is still running, the overall tour winner is already fixed. Jossi Wells is the new AFP Overall World Champion regardless of the outstanding event results. “It feels amazing to be world champion!”, Jossi expressed his feelings when he learned about his triumph on the way to the JOSS and JOI in Åre. The discipline titles remain undecided with two major contests – the JOI in Sweden and the WSI in Canada – still coming up in the month of April.
JOSSI WELLS DOMINATES IN THE PIPE
The foundation for Jossi Wells’ overall title comes from his impressive string of halfpipe performances. The 19-year-old from New Zealand started the season last summer with the victory at the NZ Open near his hometown Wanaka. But he soon proved that he can perform in the Northern Hemisphere winter just as well. A second-place-finish at the first Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge was eclipsed by the win at the second stop in Snowbasin and the silver medal at the X Games in Aspen. Two more top-ten-finishes at the Dew Tour finals in Mt. Snow and the European X Games in Tignes earned Jossi the Halfpipe Dew Cup and the first place in the current AFP halfpipe rankings. The AFP Halfpipe Champion will be determined at the WSI in Whistler later this month.
UNIQUE VERSATILITY WINS THE OVERALL TITLE
But while the halfpipe title is still to be secured, his solid performances in both slopestyle and big air already fixed the overall championship for Jossi Wells. Unlike most other top performers, the member of the ATOMIC Freeskiing Team competes in all three disciplines. And he does this amazingly well, currently holding a fifth place in the AFP slopestyle rankings and an 11th place in big air. His seasonhighlights include a win at the Austrian Freeski Open slopestyle, a third place in the European X Games slopestyle and a fourth place at the X Games big air in Aspen. This unique versatility put Jossi Wells out of his opponents’ reach in the overall category even a month before the season is finished. A feat that is as impressive as surprising. Explains Jossi: “It definitely has it’s challenges to
compete in all three disciplines. Not only to be able to show good tricks in each one, but also at bigger events with sometimes conflicting time schedules. I have huge respect for everyone who takes on those challenges.” But why does Jossi take them on, then? Particularly as he is busy filming for his webisode series “Winter of Wells” all winter long, too. “I focus on skiing my best, and I found out I am skiing best when I am having fun. So I am always trying to have a blast at competitions, which makes them much more enjoyable.” Having fun has never been more successful!
ABOUT JOSSI WELLS
Being a freeski pro from New Zealand, Jossi Wells might not even know what summer is. ”It‘s not that bad,“ explains the 19-year-old. ”After every ski season I fly to a place that’s nice and warm for a month.“ He started skiing at the age of two in the mountains around his hometown Wanaka. At the age of ten he discovered freeskiing. Since many top-level riders spend their summers practicing in the ski areas around Jossi’s hometown, the young skate-fan got lots of motivation to strive for the top himself. Thus he started to spend the New Zealand summer in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the big US ski areas, to improve his skills. On many of his trips he is accompanied by his father and also by his younger brother Byron, who is already counting among the world’s best freeskiers just like Jossi himself. The final breakthrough for Jossi Wells came 2008 when he got 2nd at the US Open as well as at the X-Games. Considering his enormous arsenal of tricks on all kind of obstacles, further triumphs, like his 1st place in the Halfpipe at the NZ Open few weeks ago, will only be a matter of time.
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