Pyeongchang, South Korea • The first time Maddy Olsen noticed an aerial skier in motion was once 16 years in the past. It was once 2002, and the Park City woman and her circle of relatives watched the most efficient on the planet carry out high-flying flips and twists.
Olsen’s circle of relatives as soon as once more was once staring at Olympic motion Thursday night time, part a global clear of the place the seed of a dream as soon as was once planted. Only this time, the 22-year-old Olsen was once the only on the most sensible of the hill.
“It was so overwhelming,” she mentioned. “I was standing at the top. I couldn’t figure out if I was shaking because I was cold or nervous.”
By the tip of the qualifying rounds, regardless that, Olsen was once feeling one thing else.
Olsen and her teammate, Kiley McKinnon, each complicated to Friday night time’s aerials finals, the place they are going to have a possibility to compete for an Olympic medal. The two Americans each scored an 87.88 on their easiest jumps, grabbing the overall two spots within the ultimate.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Olsen mentioned after ready till the closing bounce had completed to be told if she had complicated. “I didn’t think I was going to make it through for a second. But I’m super happy … and excited to do some more jumps tomorrow.”
American Ashley Caldwell, the U.S. girls’s easiest likelihood at an aerials medal, did not advance. The 24-year-old is understood for her excessive level of problem in her jumps, an way she mentioned she hopes pushes the game ahead. But it additionally has price her journeys to the rostrum.
“I’m proud of what I’m trying to represent,” Caldwell mentioned. “… The reason I take the risk is because I like the reward. And when you seize the reward, everyone’s all happy dandy go-lucky. And when you don’t, it either hurts or it hurts, physically or emotionally, and this is an emotional pain. It hurts right now, but I’m proud that I take those risk, and sometimes I do seize those rewards.”
Caldwell had her points of interest on a medal in her 3rd Olympics in spite of competing with a shoulder harm she suffered in coaching this week when a gust of wind brought about her to crash all the way through a bounce.
“That gold medal, I want it so bad, and I didn’t get it this time,” she mentioned. “Maybe I go four more years and get it, or maybe I don’t, but I still go out there every day and push myself as hard as I can, and I’m proud of that.”
While Caldwell’s long term Olympic plans nonetheless are unclear, she mentioned she deliberate to compete thru this yr’s World Championships in Deer Valley.
“My hometown? That sounds pretty nice,” she mentioned.
As Caldwell attempted to swallow “this bitter pill,” Olsen’s circle of relatives had begun to rejoice. Her circle of relatives — her folks, aunts, uncles and siblings — cheered her on throughout her interviews on the finish of the contest. For Olsen, simply making it to the Olympics was once a dream.
“Really the whole thing has been amazing,” she mentioned. “Being surrounded by Olympic athletes is really inspirational.”
She’ll be surrounded by means of 11 different Olympic aerialists Friday night time when she returns to the hill for once more.