With a world championships silver medal, Quinn Dehlinger consolidated a breakout season and confirmed that the Cincinnati area is the new American hotbed of freestyle skiing.
Dehlinger, a 20-year-old slopestyle convert, took runner-up to Swiss Noe Roth in Bakuriani, Georgia, on Thursday.
“It feels unbelievable,” he said. “I would have never thought it coming into here, but put in the hard work this summer, and the results show.”
Dehlinger landed a double full-full-full in the super final for 114.48 points, just 4.11 points behind Roth, who performed a slightly less difficult trick but did it cleaner.
Dehlinger became the sixth different American to win an individual aerials medal over the last five world championships. He is the youngest American man to ever win an individual Olympic or world championships aerials medal.
He added the silver to gold in the team event at his first world championships. Last month, Dehlinger became the first American man to win a World Cup aerials event in nearly three years. He came into the season with a best World Cup finish of eighth. Last year, he was the highest-ranked American man to not make the Olympic team.
Dehlinger is the latest freestyle skiing star to come out of the Cincinnati area, and specifically Perfect North Slopes in nearby Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Perfect North also produced Nick Goepper, a three-time Olympic slopestyle medalist who announced his retirement last month. And Justin Schoenefeld, the top American male aerialist at last year’s Olympics (fifth place) who was also part of the gold-medal-winning team in China.
As of last year, Perfect North consisted of five magic carpets, two rope tows, five chairlifts and 23 trails, one of which was expert. The highest point of the hill is 400 feet tall. In contrast, the 2002 Olympic venue of Deer Valley, Utah, has 103 runs and is 3,000 feet tall.
China’s Kong Fanyu won the women’s aerials title Thursday. The top American was Kaila Kuhn in fifth.
American Megan Nick, the Olympic bronze medalist, was the lone individual medalist from last year’s Olympics to compete at worlds. She placed 19th at worlds.
Peacock airs live coverage of the world freestyle skiing and snowboarding championships. The next finals are Saturday with moguls and ski cross.
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