Bad knee and all, Olenick in search of another X Games medal |

Bad knee and all, Olenick in search of another X Games medal

Jeff Caspersen, Tribune News Service

ASPEN, Colo. – If Peter Olenick is to return to the Winter X Games podium, he’ll have to do it in pain.

The Carbondale native, who went under the knife in May to correct a lingering tendonitis issue in his right knee, isn’t 100 percent these days.

“It’s been a bit of an uphill battle coming back,” Olenick admitted. “I just had tendonitis for a long time, but it’s not really taken care of.”

But the 26-year-old freesking phenom, whose seven previous X Games appearances have yielded four medals, isn’t sitting idle.

Olenick, who last year won gold in skiing superpipe high air, will tackle the skiing superpipe competition at the 15th installment of Winter X at Buttermilk Mountain.

While a sore knee will no doubt accompany his medal quest, the X Games veteran isn’t about to sit this one out.

“[X Games] is still a big deal,” Olenick said. “It always is. It’s such a production. Just being a part of it is a huge deal.”

While the knee injury has limited his training schedule, the inventor of the Whiskey flip (a double flatspin) hasn’t altered his goals in any way. He still hopes for a spot on the podium.

“I want to come away with a medal, pretty much like everyone else,” he said. “I’d like to do it and still be walking.”

Chasing a fifth X Games medal will be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle to which Olenick is committed – however frustrating the process has proven to be.

“It’s super frustrating,” he lamented, “just because you put in so much work to get better and you’re even worse off than before. It’s very frustrating. It makes skiing not quite as fun. That’s the reason you’re doing it anyway. Now it’s like a job almost, you know?”

A job he hopes he can gut out through the competitive season.

“I had a surgery that was supposed to fix it. It didn’t,” Olenick said. “I’ll get through a few contests and figure it out from there. Ideally, I’ll gimp through the season.”


Little sister back for her third X Games

Peter’s younger sister, Megan, will compete in her third X Games this weekend. The 23-year-old will gun for the podium in skiing slopestyle.

“She’s skiing really well,” Peter said. “It’d be nice to see her [on the podium]. She’s been close. She definitely has what it takes, for sure.”

Megan finished fifth in each of her two previous X Games showings.


Peter Olenick, X Games veteran

Lucky 8? Winter X Games 15 will be Olenick’s eighth X Games appearance.

Medal collection: Olenick has four X Games medals (skiing superpipe high air gold, 2010; skiing superpipe bronze, 2007; skiing slopestyle silver, 2004; skiing superpipe bronze, 2004) in his collection.

Superpipe only in 2011: Though he’s competed in slopestyle, superpipe and superpipe high air in the past, Olenick will focus solely on the superpipe at Winter X Games 15. High air is not an X Games offering this year.

The competition: The skiing superpipe men’s elimination round is tonight (Wednesday) from 7:30-9 p.m. The finals are slated for Friday from 4:45-6:15 p.m.

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