Peter Olenick Wins X Games High Air
After the mind-blowing Superpipe event went down, the skiers weren't quite done. ESPN decided to add another event: Superpipe High Air. Pretty basic concept: Six athletes, two 10-minute sessions to high either wall, whoever goes the highest wins, doesn't matter what trick you do, as long as you stomp. And after twenty minutes, it was none other than local boy, Pistol Pete Olenick who went the biggest of the night, and to be honest, ever, as the Guinness Record people were there. On his 2nd to last run, Pete soared 24 feet 3 inches in an alley oop flatspin 540, and then on his last drop, he skated in and boosted an incredible 24 feet 11 inches, in an alley oop flatpsin superman of sorts. Peter who was sitting near the bottom of the pack after the first session, picked up his game and put up the only heights over 24 feet. Coming in 2nd was Justin Dorey, who was absent from the Superpipe contest. But J-Bone didn't seem phased as he blasted straight airs to the moon. In fact, since justin wasn't mid-trick at the apex of his height, he probably could have high-fived some airline pilots. With a little running man move in the middle of his airs, Dorey gave the crowd a little scare each time, yet landed perfectly on most all of his hits; a testament to his riding.
And what did Kevin Rolland do to celebrate after winning gold in Superpipe? He kept on riding and earned himself a bronze in High Air. Kevin was boosting right wall flares all night, each progressively bigger than the next. And The frenchman barely nudged out Mike Riddle, whose straight air mute grabs were so damn stylish, but he missed out by 3 inches. Xavier Bertoni and his flares were just 4 inches off Rolland's mark and Dumont's 900s were more traveled down the pipe than up for the high air, landing him in 6th place. This marked the first gold medal for Peter Olenick, who adds to his collection of 2 bronzes and a silver. History shows that every 3 years, Pete wins a medal, so in a weird way, that's consistency. And to cap it off, the Guinness World Record folks were on hand to present Pete with the "Highest Air out of a Superpipe on Skis" award. Gold medal and a World Record? Not a bad way to close out X Games. See you next year in the 26 foot range, boys.
About the author:
Shay Williams is the former Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He now works full-time with Monster Energy, and continues to contribute to freeskier.com.