The United States will have two opportunities to reach the medal podium on Thursday night, with Kiley McKinnon and Madison Olsen qualifying for the women’s freestyle skiing aerials finals.
McKinnon rebounded after a misstep in her first attempt.
The 22-year-old couldn’t quite land her first back full-double full attempt, earning a 72.26. However, in her second attempt, McKinnon landed a back full-full to earn an 87.88 from the judges; one place ahead of Olsen in the finals qualifying.
McKinnon won a 2015 World Cup Championship, before going on to pick up silver in the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships.
McKinnon began skiing at the age of two, before taking up aerials at age 15.
“I started skiing when I was about 2 – 3 years old and I started doing aerials when I was 15,” she said in a Q&A with Teen Vogue. “I think the biggest thing that drew me to aerials was the amount of perfectionism that comes with the sport, I’m a huge perfectionist with everything I do with my life and it really drew me to the sport because I wanted to do perfect jumps.
“If I wasn’t an aerialist I probably would have graduated college last year with all of my other classmates who just graduated and it’s tough to say, I mean I was in a time in my life where I had no idea what I wanted to do, so now that I’m doing aerials it’s hard to say what I would be doing now if I wasn’t doing aerials.”
The women’s freestyle skiing aerials finals will take place Thursday night in primetime.
Live coverage of the final runs will air on NBC, with live streaming availability on the NBC Sports Live Extra app.