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Peterson, St. Onge look to keep things rolling as aerials resume in China


Peterson, St. Onge look to keep things rolling as aerials resume in China{mosimage}CHANGCHUN, China – Cold weather has kept athletes scrambling to stay warm while they train as the aerials side of the freestyle World Cup resumes competition Friday and Sunday with two meets in China.

Two U.S. men – reigning World Cup champion and current aerials leader Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson and Ryan St. Onge, who won the opening two meets of the season about 100 days ago (Sept. 3) in Mount Buller, Australia – are joined by four American women for the meets. The women include Emily Cook, Jana Lindsey, Kelly Hilliman and Kate Reed.

‘The site’s outstanding – they’ve really got their stuff together’ U.S. aerials head coach Matt Christensen said Wednesday. ‘We’ve been training for three days and the girls had an awesome day; Kelly and Jana hit their triples [three twists, two flips] today … right down to their nice landings.

‘It’s just so good to back into competition. We’re all psyched that training is over and we’ll be competing again. It’s been a long time since Buller’ he said.

Peterson echoed his coach. ‘The temperatures have been ridiculously cold, which has been affecting us a bit. You try to burn so many calories to stay warm, and it takes a lot of energy to be warm … but it’s good we’re back into competition mode. If anything’ he said, ‘all the talk about this season and the Olympics just builds the anticipation and we’d all much rather be competing. I think the anticipation was getting to all of us – certainly getting to me – so it’s nice to be ready to jump for real now.’

After the two meets in China, the Americans will return for the holidays at home. The next aerials contest is scheduled for Jan. 8 at Tremblant, outside Montreal, before two World Cup weekends in the United States as part of the 10 Weeks to Torino series of Olympic-related qualifying events before the Winter Games Feb. 10-26 in Torino, Italy.

The Chevrolet Freestyle International will be Jan. 13-14 at Deer Valley, Utah, the 2002 Olympic freestyle venue and 2003 World Championships site; aerials will be held each afternoon while moguls will be held on the night of the Jan. 13. The following weekend will be the last Olympic qualifying event for U.S. freestyle athletes: the Nature Valley Freestyle Cup is set for Jan. 20-22 at Lake Placid, N.Y., with the Olympic team named the following week.

- Courtesy USSA News Bureau

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