‘A really good sense of air’
Glenwood Springs correspondent
His list of accolades just keeps growing.
In addition to earning two Winter X Games medals, appearing in four Warren Miller movies and other skiing films and acquiring a list of sponsors, Carbondale native Peter Olenick is now a member of the Aspen/Snowmass team for the 2005/06 season.
“I have been skiing at Aspen-Snowmass my entire life. Now I get to be on the team and it is pretty exciting,” Olenick said. “I get a season pass and then I get to travel to other ski resorts and tell them how much better Aspen is.”
Olenick, who first slapped on a pair of skis when he was 20 months old, is on the slopes 200 times each year and seven days a week in the winter. As one of the nine members of the Aspen/Snowmass team, he travels to California, Montana, Utah and the Alps of France, Switzerland and Sweden. Cruising the trails of the Alps is a little different than the Rocky Mountains, Olenick said.
“There is a lot more hiking in the Alps and that sucks because I hate hiking. It’s a lot of fun though; they are good mountains and there’s not too many people from U.S. that get to go there,” Olenick said. “It’s really pretty, really pretty.”
The purpose of the Aspen/Snowmass team is to help the careers of local athletes and to provide the best training facilities for top skiers and snowboarders.
“Aspen/Snowmass is proud to sponsor such high caliber athletes,” David Perry, senior vice president of Aspen Skiing Co., said in a press release. “We have Olympic hopefuls, X Games and Olympic medalists and freeskiing champions. They are tremendous ambassadors for the sport and for our resort.”
In the 2004 X Games, Olenick took silver in the slopestyle and bronze in the superpipe. In the 2005 X Games, Olenick wasn’t able to capture any medals, but he was able to compete with his younger brother Michael.
Ever since the 2005/06 skiing season kicked off, Olenick has been preparing for the 2006 X Games, to be held in Aspen Jan. 28-31.
The 21-year-old is training to compete in the same events (slopestyle and superpipe) this year. On Thursday, Olenick was training at Breckenridge.
“I am going on the pipe and training in the park, because [Breckenridge] has the best park this time of year. The best pipe is in Aspen, but the jumps are pretty good here,” Olenick said. “I am practicing a lot of stuff I have never done before.”
Hitting new jumps and experimenting with new tricks is a process Olenick enjoys.
“You think a lot about it in your head and you know that you probably are going to crash,” Olenick said. “I have really good air sense, so I just go out and do it and I know that I might fall, but normally I can get my legs down and it won’t hurt too bad. I like doing new stuff, it is pretty fun.”
Outside of the X Games, Olenick said that he would like to compete in the Olympics, but isn’t sure if it’s a possibility.
“I am totally interested in being in the Olympics, but by the time they roll around, I might be too old,” Olenick said. “I want to, I would love to, so I am going to try not to be too old.”
In the meantime, he will keep training for the X Games with the hopes of rounding out his medal collection with gold.
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