The Lone American Skier | Freestyle skier Jeret Peterson makes the qualifying round in men's aerial

By Toheeb Alejo, Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Monday, February 20, 2006

After the qualifying round in the men's aerial event, Jeret "Speedy" Peterson will be the only American representing the U.S. team in the final round. It was a disappointing finish for the U.S. freestyle team—they are considered one of the best in the world.

Defending silver medalist Joe Pack failed to make it to the top 12 to qualify for the next round. Eric Bergoust and Ryan St. Onge also missed the top 12 spots. Peterson will ski in the finals, which will be held on Thursday, February 23. In competition, he will face Xiaopeng Han of China, who led the qualifying round.

Aerial is an event in freestyle skiing. In the competition, a skier jumps off a ramp and executes a move of his choice, including different flips and twists that can send him up to 60 feet in the air. Seven judges are divided into two groups. Five judges critique the takeoff and the execution, while the two remaining judges calculate the landing. 

The takeoff is worth 20 percent of the score, the execution is worth 50 percent of the score, and the landing is worth 30 percent of the score. When the skier is finished, the scores are calculated and multiplied by the degree of difficulty to obtain the final score. 

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