Meg Olenick is one of the young slopestyle stars of the U.S. Freeskiing Team. Raised just outside of Aspen, Colo., Olenick has been skiing park since she was a kid, following in the footsteps of her older brothers, Michael and Peter. After a series of knee injuries, she is looking for a strong season in 2013 to solidify her spot on the 2014 Olympic team. Olenick will be blogging for OnTheSnow this season as she prepares for Sochi in 2014.
As the New Year begins and my procrastination comes to an end, it’s time to start looking into the future and planning my competition season. With the addition of a World Cup circuit, there are more freeskiing contests this winter than there have ever been before. This is very exciting for all of us as it opens up our sport to a different group of spectators, in different locations where there have never been slopestyle competitions. And as for us, we get to travel to new places and explore new mountains, which is always a pleasure.
My first contest back will be the World Cup test event in Sochi, Russia in February. Not only am I ecstatic to travel to Russia, as I have never been there, but I am also excited to see what the venue is going to look like for the Olympics—it should be the perfect preview for 2014. I am fortunate enough to have the U.S. Freeskiing Team by my side helping me plan the trip and get our visas all taken care of; I could not do it without them.
From Russia, we will travel back home for a couple weeks and get some more training in before flying back overseas to Norway for the World Championships at the beginning of March. The World Championships takes the top four athletes from each country and we battle it out for the reigning title of being the best in the world.
I will stay over in Europe after World Champs and head to Austria for an all girls event, Nine Queens. I have missed out on Nine Queens the last two years due to injury and I am determined to make it there this year. Nine Queens was developed by a fellow competitor, Virginie Faivre, and is a four-day event, where you are treated like a queen, with a photo contest and photo shoot for the first three days and then a freeskiing contest on the last day. In the past, it has been one of the most progressive weeks for women’s freeskiing and all the girls talent shines through.
Directly after Nine Queens I will hop in a van with all the other girls and head to France for Winter X Games Europe. Once again, I have missed this event the last two years and had to give my spot up to someone else, which is never easy to do. From there I will make my final stretch to Spain for the last World Cup contest of the season. Phew, that will be a whirlwind couple of weeks over in Europe but I am sure I will appreciate and enjoy every day of it.
We wind the season down with the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) finals in Whistler. This tends to be one of the most fun contests of the season as everyone lets loose a little as they know they have a large break after it. It is refreshing to see this after an intense long season.
Follow me along this journey here on OnTheSnow; there will be many great photos and stories to be told!