Winter Vinecki wins aerials World Cup on tiebreaker
In two sets of unusual circumstances, American Winter Vinecki earned her third aerials World Cup win on Friday night.
First, the Intermountain Health Freestyle International competition at Deer Valley, Utah, was held in a “doubles only” format, barring the riskier triple jumps due to heavy snowfall creating unsafe conditions.
Second, Vinecki and Australian Danielle Scott tied for the top score in the super final — 77.90 points.
Vinecki won in a tiebreaker based on form scores, or cleanliness, performing her double full-full.
“I had to throw a trick that I only had done once in training here in the last two months,” she said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard.
Vinecki, a 25-year-old who placed 15th at the 2022 Olympics, retained her place atop the World Cup season standings with victories in two of the three events held so far.
There are three more events left, with two of them coming next weekend in Lac-Beauport, Canada.
Vinecki is bidding to become the first American to win an aerials World Cup season title since Ashley Caldwell in 2016.
Vinecki’s third career World Cup win moved her into a tie for third in U.S. women’s aerials history behind 1998 Olympic gold medalist Nikki Stone (11 wins) and Caldwell (six).
In Friday’s men’s event, 19-year-old American Connor Curran earned his first World Cup podium, a runner-up behind Alexandre Duchaine of Canada.
Intermountain Health Freestyle International aerials highlights air Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on CNBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.