Just as the 2023 Alpine World Championships in Courchevel and Méribél, France, end, the 2023 Freestyle World Championships in Bakuriani, Georgia, are kicking off.
The Freestyle Championships started on a high note for Team USA, as the American Aerials Team won the Mixed Team Gold at the first event in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The American Team, consisting of Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis, and Quinn Dehlinger, took the win with 331.37 points, narrowly ahead of Team China with 320.71 points. The Ukrainian Team won Bronze with only 255.56 points, as their two male jumpers failed to deliver a clean landing. The Canadian Team, consisting of Marion Thenault, Miha Fontaine, and Alexandre Duchaine, came fifth.
Four-Time Olympian Ashley Caldwell jumped a flawless Back-Full-Double-Full, putting the American Team on the Gold trajectory with 92.00 points. Next, Christopher Lillis stomped a Double-Full-Full-Full, scoring 127.15 points and setting up Quinn Dehlinger to carry the Team across the finish line with his Double-Full-Full-Full, which scored 112.22 points.
It was a huge moment for 20-year-old Quinn, who had just won his first World Cup earlier this year in Le Relais, Canada. Team members Ashley and Christopher were part of the Gold winning team in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Kaila Kuhn and Justin Schoenefeld served as alternates on the Team. While they did not get to compete on Sunday, they did receive a Team medal and will have their chance to shine during the Qualifications for Individual Aerials over the next few days. Rounding out the Aerials team for individual events will be 19-year-old Derek Krueger on the men’s side and Megan Nick and Winter Vinecki on the women’s side.
For our calendar of what to watch when at the 2023 FIS Freestyle World Championships, read our related article: