An international field dropped in to the Snowbasin, Utah halfpipe today in the semifinal round of the Wendy's Invitational, the second stop of the Winter Dew Tour. 19 athletes from Canada, France, USA, Finland, New Zealand, and Japan put their hearts, their health, and an entire season of dedicated training on the line to vie for 9 berths into the finals.
|Men's Pipe Qualifying Results|
|7||Colby James West||USA||73.50|
Having narrowly missed the podium at the Totino's Open, also known as the first Winter Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, Frenchman (you can say that on TV, right?) Kevin Rolland was the top pipe performer required to participate in the semifinals. Rolland kept that momentum going today, easily qualifying through to finals in the second spot.
Right behind the shoe-ins Dorey and Rolland in third place, the semis saw a somewhat unlikely top finisher in Peter Olenick.
Olenick, who has won several Winter X medals and was named the Top Rookie Performer at the 2004 Winter X contest, has been a viable contender at major contests throughout his career. In recent years, however, nagging injuries and an infuriating tendency to fall on the last trick of the run that counts have kept the superpipe giant from carrying his weight.
This year, that may all be behind him. "I've been much more diligent and much more focused about the training I do for these events this year," says Olenick. "Wake up early, ski, hit the gym. I'm treating it like it's my nine-to-five."
Will we see the new, harder-working pipe jock on the podium after tomorrow's final round? Maybe.
Olenick offered only that "Today felt good, and I feel good. But my focus right now is how I'm going to do what I have to do tomorrow not how I'm going to talk about it."