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 most slopestyle athletes across the globe were hustling to get their Russian Visas together for the test event in February, Sochi was hustling to produce enough snow for the event to happen. It was announced on February 1 that the ski and snowboard slopestyle test event, which was to be held on February 11, would be canceled due to “lack of snow and continuous warm and rainy weather conditions” FIS freestyle reported.
The cancellation has people wondering if they are going to be able to pull off a slopestyle course one year from now. Temperatures in Sochi this time of year range from the mid-40s to upper-50s, which, to me, does not seem ideal for holding the Winter Olympics. Being a slopestyle competitor, I especially worry because next year will be the first time they will build a slopestyle course at their venue. Is it going to be built in a way where, we as athletes, will be able to showcase to the world our sport and skills? It’s tough to say at this point. Myself and the other athletes were excited to head to Russia and get a lay of the land before the mayhem hits next year, but I guess now we will have to wait.
All of the other athletes from different disciplines in skiing and snowboarding still went over to Russia for their test events throughout the month. Currently the halfpipe skiers and snowboarders are in Sochi training for the contests later this week. Many of them have reported back that the snow is very slushy and that it has been raining on and off. When they are off the hill they have said that it is a bit of a culture shock—not many people speak English, no one smiles and there are military men everywhere with guns to protect all the athletes that have flown in for the events. I am curious to see how the rest of the events go and what everyone has to say when they return.
Since I did not make the trip to Russia I am at home in Breckenridge, Colo. skiing as much as possible to prepare myself for a busy March filled with cat skiing at Baldface lodge and a European adventure with a couple of contests.