Kylie McKinnon (right) earned her first World Cup podium with a third place finish at the FIS Freestyle aerials World Cup opener in Beijing China on Dec. 20th. Mengtao Xu of China was first and Danielle Scott of Australia second. (FIS Freestyle)
BEIJING, China (Dec. 20, 2014) – If she wasn’t already on it, put Kiley McKinnon (Madison, CT) on your list of U.S. Freestyle Ski Team athletes to watch this season. Surrounded by thousands of aerials fans in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium, McKinnon jumped to her first career World Cup podium with a third place finish at the FIS Freestyle World Cup aerials opener. She went full, full (two flips, two twists) for the qualification and first final before going full, double full (two flips, three twists) in the second final, landing her first one of the season in competition.
“I’m really excited to have gotten my first World Cup podium,” said McKinnon. “The crowd was really getting into the competition and everything came together really well. It was a great event.”
McKinnon worked her way up to the aerials B team via the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Elite Aerial Development Program (EADP). She participated in the program one year before her impressive results landed her a spot on the U.S. team. McKinnon was also a student at the USSA TEAM Academy, where she graduated in 2012.
“I’m so proud of Kiley,” said aerials head coach Todd Ossian. “This was an outstanding result for her. This is the first of many more World Cup podiums to come.”
Teammate Ashley Caldwell (Ashburn, VT) was sitting fifth after qualifications, but was unable to put together a clean jump in finals, finishing 12th. After a very strong qualifying jump, Mike Rossi (Long Valley, NJ) was the top finisher for the men, finishing 9th with 100.00 followed by Mac Bohonnon (Madison, CT) in 10th with a 96.90.
The competition continues Sunday with a first-ever aerials team event. Both the men and women will compete in individual qualification rounds before being seeded for the team competition. McKinnon and her teammates are already focused on the exciting new event.
“This is the first time FIS has done an event like this, but it’s going to be fun and hopefully it goes well for us.”
Finals begin at 5:30 a.m. EST. Be sure to follow @usfreestyle on Twitter for live updates.
Kiley McKinnon jumped to the first World Cup podium of her career with a third place finish at the FIS Freestyle World Cup opener in Beijing.
In the second final, McKinnon landed her first full double full of the season in competition. Her score was 89.88.
Teammate Ashley Caldwell advanced to the first final, finishing 12th.
Mike Rossi and Mac Bohonnon led the men’s team, finishing 9th and 10th respectively while Kendal Johnson (McFarland, WI), Jonathan Lillis (Rochester, NY), Alex Bowen (Springville, NY) and Eric Loughran (Pelham, NH) finished 14th, 15th, 19th and 23rd.
Athletes will compete in a team event tomorrow, the first-ever in a FIS World Cup.