American Aerialist Ryan St. Onge Grabs Gold, Emily Cook Bronze at Freestyle World Cup

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on January 30, 2009 12:00 pm

Ryan St. Onage

The U.S. Ski Team’s Ryan St. Onge of Winter Park, CO took the top spot of the aerials podium at the Deer Valley World Cup tonight, and with the highest score of the evening stole the show. The crowd held its collective breath as St. Onge spun upside down under the lights. His quadruple twisting triple back flip carried the highest degree of difficulty in the competition, and St. Onge stuck it.


"I just went as big as I could, and stretched as much as I could, and somehow I found my feet," St. Onge said of his jump. "It was only the second time this year I’ve done it, and the first time was the jump right before it (in training). It would have seemed logical for me to back down and spend more time performing that trick before I competed it, but I did a great one in training and I knew I could do it."

And the quiet, rosy-cheeked World Cup veteran just couldn’t stop smiling. No wonder his U.S. teammates once called him, "Peach."

China’s Zhongqing Liu stuck his jumps, too, but his precision wasn’t enough to overtake the jubilant St. Onge. Current World Cup aerials leader Steve Omischl of Canada (nicknamed ‘The Scientist’ for his own brand of consistent precision) also stuck both of his jumps, but nabbed the bronze.

American favorite Jeret ‘Speedy’ Peterson had a solid night but was bumped to fourth. Peterson was still pleased with his performance. "I only stuck two jumps this whole week, and they were in this competition," he deadpanned.

On the women’s side, China took the first two spots with Nina Li claiming gold and XinXin Guo the silver. American Emily Cook of Park City, UT happily took the bronze, repeating her recent finish at the World Cup in Lake Placid, NY two weeks ago. "I’m happy because I did the full double full (a triple twisting double flip)," Cook said. "I’ve trained it for years and years and it was good to get myself back on the podium."

U.S. Freestyle Ski Team aerials coach Matt Christensen couldn’t have been more pleased. "Our veterans came through for us and they keep improving," he said. "When Ryan does perfect jumps no one can touch him. He’s that good. Tonight his second jump—the double full, full, full—was by far the best one that’s ever been done on snow. It was amazing."

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