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US beats out China to win mixed aerials Olympic debut

United States' Justin Schoenefeld, center, celebrates with Christopher Lillis, left, and Ashley...
United States' Justin Schoenefeld, center, celebrates with Christopher Lillis, left, and Ashley Caldwell during the mixed team aerials finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.(Gregory Bull | AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 9:01 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 9:40 AM EST
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ZHANGJIAKOU, China (AP) — American skiers Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld won gold in the Olympics’ first mixed team aerials event, giving the U.S. its first medals in the freestyle skiing discipline since Jeret “Speedy” Peterson in 2010.

Ashley Caldwell, Christopher Lillis and Justin Schoenefeld each earned their first Winter Games medals.

Caldwell was a precocious, breakout star when she made her Olympic debut as a 16-year-old at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

The 2017 world champion is now in her fourth Olympics but had never finished higher than 10th.

Lillis’ back double full-full-double full was given the highest score of any trick in the finals, and the U.S. title was assured when Schoenefeld followed with a clean back double full-full-full.

The 28-year-old Caldwell and Schoenefeld have been dating for about three years, making her breakthrough to an Olympic podium all the sweeter.

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