French skier Kevin Rolland won four straight X Games Ski SuperPipe gold medals in 2010 and 2011. Over the last few years, he's dealt with a few setbacks, including a knee injury. He'll be going for gold at X Games Aspen 2014 in January and the upcoming Olympic debut of his sport at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Meeting Carl Lewis
A new documentary on Kevin Rolland premieres on French television this month. In it, he meets track and field star Carl Lewis, photographed here, to discuss a strategy for performing his best at the Olympics.
Rolland at the L.A. Coliseum last summer, where he met Carl Lewis. "To me, sport -- whether you're doing track, skiing, football -- it's the same thing," Rolland says.
Kevin Rolland placed third last year in Men's Ski SuperPipe at X Games Tignes in front of his hometown crowd.
"Everybody kept telling me that the Olympics are really special and different from other competitions," Rolland says. "And you have to be prepared for that mentally. I was questioning myself -- am I ready?"
"If you win [at the Olympics], there will be more impact, but what you have to do in the halfpipe will be the same as what you have to do in the X Games," Rolland says.
Triples in the Pipe?
On seeing a triple in the halfpipe, Rolland says, "But if you do a triple and it's ugly, why do it? It's nothing to do a triple if it's ugly. If I see someone doing a really stylish triple, I'm going to clap my hands."
What It'll Take to Win
Rolland remains arguably the best halfpipe skier in Europe and the continent's best hope for gold at X Games Aspen 2014 and the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics. To win there, he says, "I have to go really high, I have to do some unnatural stuff, be better on rightside [tricks] and I have to land a new trick that I can't do right now, but I'm working on it and if I land it, I will be happy with myself."