USA wins mixed team aerials on Lillis’ quin-twisting triple – NBC2 News

Mixed team aerials made its Olympic debut in Beijing, and the U.S. brought home the first gold medal of the event on Day 6.

Four-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell and Olympic rookies Justin Schoenefeld and Chris Lillis made up the U.S. team. Going into the event, China was the overwhelming favorite, but an incredible jump from Lillis secured the gold medal for Team USA.

Caldwell and Schoenefeld performed jumps with scores of 104.31 and 124.43, respectively, to advance out of Final 1. That paved the way for Lillis to stick a back double full-full-double full – five twists and three flips – in Final 2 for a score of 135.00, the biggest score of the event. China’s Qi Guangpu had one final jump to steal the top position on the podium, but his score of 122.17 was not enough to surpass the U.S. China won silver and Canada won bronze.

With this Olympic performance, Lillis continues his family legacy in aerials. His brother, Jon, finished in eighth place in men’s aerials in PyeongChang. Caldwell and Schoenefeld are a couple as well as teammates—the two have been dating for three years.

Read more about Team USA’s gold medal performance here.