Park City aerial skier Madison Olsen makes most of Olympic experience |

Park City aerial skier Madison Olsen makes most of Olympic experience

Joel Reichenberger
Steamboat Pilot and Today
Madison Olsen flies high in the night sky above Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday during the women’s aerials finals.
Joel Reichenberger/Steamboat Pilot and Today |

The last jump did not go well, but before she’d even dusted off the snow, Park City’s Madison Olsen, an Olympian in aerials, was on her feet, beaming a smile and waving to the crowd.

She’d made it further than expected, further even than her two heralded teammates, to the final round of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

She attempted a jump there she’d never even tried before, a full double full. That that’s even possible is one of the funny quirks of her sport.

She’d landed hard on the snow, collapsing to her back and losing her skis, but she hopped up as quickly as possible and showed the crowd what was on her mind: This was a good day.

“I was really just enjoying the moment. It was awesome out there,” Olsen said. “The adrenaline was just pumping through my body and I was super excited to be out there jumping.”

Aerials jumpers use different tricks in each round and Olsen simply outperformed her bag of tricks on the sport’s biggest stage.

She’d narrowly advanced out of the prior night’s qualification round, the last of 12 qualifiers. She’d then narrowly advanced out of the first finals round, eighth out of nine skiers.

She pulled it off one more time, advancing to the third finals as the sixth out of six skiers. There, she threw a trick she’d never even tried on snow, the only thing separating her from a surprise medal.

“I was definitely really nervous. I trained it all summer but hadn’t done it yet so figure why not do it at the super finals in the Olympics,” she said. “I was pretty close, I could have hit a little better take off. I got into my twist, when I came out to land I was a little underrated so that made me fall forward. Next time.”

The end result did little to ruin her experience.

“It was beyond anything I was expecting. Each round I was so excited to make it through and see what I could do,” she said. “I was just stoked to be out there. It was pretty cool, really inspirational. It makes me want to do better.”