Freestyle

Aerialists Start World Cup Season in China

by
Caitlin Furin
2016-12-15 09:21
 

BEIDA LAKE, China (Dec. 15, 2016) – The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes have landed in Beida Lake, China for the FIS Freestyle World Cup opener. Eight U.S. athletes will compete in an individual event on Dec. 17 with a team event on Dec. 18.

After a three-year stint in the Bird’s Nest, the World Cup opener is returning to the resort of Beida Lake, located in the Jilin Province. The U.S. team saw a successful showing at the last World Cup held there in 2013, with Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA) finishing second.

“Beida Lake is definitely a different feel than the Bird’s Nest,” said head aerials coach Todd Ossian. “We’re back at a ski resort in a more rural area of China, rather than the big city stadium. The organizers have done great job making sure that the jumps are ready for the World Cup to return to Beida Lake and after the first day of training, everything looks great. China has a huge fan base for aerials, and we are excited to perform.”

With two competitions on the schedule, aerialists will have two chances to score valuable World Cup points. For Sunday’s team competition, athletes’ qualification jumps will count as a World Cup result. After the comp, athletes are put into teams of three based on coach’s discretion. Each athlete within the team gets one jump and their individual scores are combined for a grand total.

Caldwell, who is currently the defending World Cup champion, will be looking to land another top finish this weekend along with teammates Kiley McKinnon (Madison, CT) and Mac Bohonnon (Madison, CT), and brothers Jon and Chris Lillis (Pittsford, NY).

“We are ready to see some great jumps from the team this weekend,” continued Ossian. “We had a phenomenal summer of training and are coming off a great season last year, so the team is prepared and ready to perform. We have all been really eager to get back to jumping and competition and everyone is excited that the World Cup opener has finally arrived.”

Competition begins on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 9:10 a.m. China Standard Time, followed by finals at 1:30 p.m. Sunday’s team competition will begin at 8:40 a.m. with individual qualification jumps before moving to a final round with six teams at 1:30 p.m. Finals for both competitions will be live streamed via nbcsports.com/live and the NBC Sports App beginning at 12:30 a.m. EST.

Beida Lake World Cup Start List
Men

Mac Bohonnon (Madison, CT)
Chris Lillis (Pittsford, NY)
Jon Lillis (Pittsford, NY)
Alex Bowen (Springville, NY)
Eric Loughran (Pelham, NH)
Harrison Smith (Pittsford, NY)

Women
Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VA)
Kiley McKinnon (Madison, CT)

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials athletes will compete in their first World Cup competition of the season Dec. 17-18 in Beida Lake, China.
  • The World Cup opener includes an individual event as well as an aerials team event.
  • The U.S. has eight athletes competing, including reigning World Cup champion Ashley Caldwell, Kiley McKinnon, Mac Bohonnon, Jon Lillis and Chris Lillis.
  • Individual competition on Dec. 17 begins at 9:10 a.m. Chinese Standard Time, followed by finals at 1:30 p.m.
  • Team competition on Dec. 18 begins at 8:40 a.m. with individual qualification jumps before moving to a final round with six teams at 1:30 p.m.
  • A full schedule is available via FIS Freestyle.
  • Finals for both competitions will be live streamed via nbcsports.com/live and the NBC Sports App beginning at 12:30 a.m. EST.

 

 

QUOTES
Todd Ossian, Head Aerials Coach, U.S. Freestyle Ski Team
Beida Lake is definitely a different feel than the Bird’s Nest. We’re back at a ski resort in a more rural area of China, rather than the big city stadium. The organizers have done great job making sure that the jumps are ready for the World Cup to return to Beida Lake and after the first day of training, everything looks great. China has a huge fan base for aerials, and we are excited to perform.

We are ready to see some great jumps from the team this weekend. We had a phenomenal summer of training and are coming off a great season last year, so the team is prepared and ready to perform. We have all been really eager to get back to jumping and competition and everyone is excited that the World Cup opener has finally arrived.