Lake Wanaka, New Zealand (23 April 2015) – Freeskier Janina Kuzma was named the supreme winner at the House of Travel Central Otago Sports Awards in Wanaka last night. Also picked as Senior Sportswoman of the Year, Janina was awarded the Bruce Grant Memorial trophy for taking out the supreme title.
The awards were based on the 2014 sporting year, and it was a stellar one for Janina, who proved herself to be an athlete of many talents with top results across both the Halfpipe and Big Mountain disciplines. Janina placed fifth in Halfpipe at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
In December 2014 Janina claimed a World Cup win in Halfpipe at the Copper Mountain Grand Prix in Colorado, USA. Strong results continued throughout December 2014 with Janina placing fourth in Halfpipe at the prestigious Dew Tour Mountain Championships in Breckenridge in the United States, just behind the Olympic gold and silver medalists.
Off the back of her 2014 results Janina was invited to compete, for her fifth time, in the world’s most prestigious freeride competition, the Freeride World Tour. Her performance in 2014 also paved the way to a 2015 X Games invite, an honour only bestowed upon the world’s top eight female freeskiers.
Janina’s coach, and Snow Sports NZ’s Head Park and Pipe coach Tom Willmott was named Coach of the Year. In 2014 Tom oversaw New Zealand’s most successful Winter Olympic campaign, in terms of the number of athletes achieving top level results: 11 top 16 finishes, including four top eight placings. The Sochi Games were Tom’s third occasion representing New Zealand at the Winter Olympics.
Jossi Wells was named Senior Sportsman of the Year and Beau-James Wells, Junior Sportsman of the Year.
Snow sports were well represented at this year’s Central Otago Sports Awards with skiers Adam Hall, Sam Smoothy, Jackson Wells and Finn Bilous and coach Bruce Wells also amongst the finalists.
Snow Sports NZ would like to congratulate all nominees and to thank Sport Otago and House of Travel for this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Central Otago’s very talented athletes.