Wānaka Sun       

Comfortable? Obsidian winners announced

Posted at 6:00am Thursday 03 Sep, 2020 | By Joanna Perry newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz

Team Wells were named champions of the Winter Games NZ Obsidian 2020 on Friday, August 28 after a tight race which came down to the wire. 

The three teams were evenly matched throughout, with Team Wells ending the competition just 20 points ahead of Team Kuzma and Team Smoothy, both tied on 500 points each. 

Team Kuzma took second place after winning the Obsidian Overall Edit videography competition, the final stage of the event which was made up of a freeride challenge, two park sessions and a mountain shred day, in which each team of athletes and videographers was sent to a different ski resort to develop content for their video edit.

Winning team captain Jossi Wells led his team from the sidelines after he broke his wrist on the first challenge of the competition, an “ironic” accident given the team's video edit theme, ‘comfortable'. 

“From the very beginning, I worked super hard with Tim Pierce from Two Bearded Men on the concept of the overall video and we landed on the comfortable theme,” said Wells. “Then we jump into the first day of competition, and I get smoked.”

In the end, very little about this event, or Team Wells' victory, was comfortable. 

Olympic gold medallist Nico Porteous told the Wānaka Sun that the team “definitely came from behind,” playing their joker card on their mountain shred day at Coronet Peak which enabled them to win double points and brought them from last place to joint first ahead of the video edit scoring.

Reflecting on the seven-minute movie, in which Porteous talks openly about his past experiences with fear and panic attacks whilst competing, he said that the freeride day - in which competitors were taken to a previously unseen heli-ski location, and had to choose a line to ski down - was a particularly unnerving experience.

“That's something I've never done before, and so I was really out of my comfort zone,” he said. “It was an interesting experience, but I was definitely pretty scared that day.”

Obsidian was also Porteous' first time participating in a big air event, which saw him perform tricks he'd only ever done twice before to be named the Men's Freeski Big Air Champion.

With its ups and downs, Porteous said Obsidian turned out to be “a really amazing event.”

“I can't say there's any event like this in the world,” said Porteous. “We're in an individual sport, and so for Winter Games to do an event like this where we do compete in a team and have teammates was really cool.”

Read edition 990 of the Wānaka Sun here.

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