Clean-up is underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but an Anderson Township teen is looking ahead to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Fifteen-year-old Quinn Dehlinger is a member of the Elite Aerial Development Program in Lake Placid, New York. He was discovered at Perfect North Slopes.
Yes, Dehlinger and Nick Goepper, the Olympic Silver Medalist in Slopestyle, are friends. But Dehlinger decided to specialize in something different, Freestyle Aerial Skiing. That's where skiers go off really big ramps and do flips and twists. Dehlinger makes it sound easy. "You just start slow and then you just start building on top of it and then eventually you're up there and you're doing it."
Trampolines, water ramps and ski jumps provide plenty of practice for the six girls and six boys who train daily from May until Mid-March at the Olympic Training Center. Dehlinger explains when he lands in the water there are bubbles that disburse what would normally be a hard impact. In addition, the skis have holes in them to also cushion the impact.
Why does Dehlinger do it? "I love being in the air and looking down at the ground and just being like, it's so cool seeing the ground from 30 feet up, flipping two times and landing it."
The development team is a feeder program for the U.S. National Team. Dehlinger would like to stay at Lake Placid another two years and then move to Park City, Utah where the National Team is based.
In the meantime, he'll continue competing. This past weekend it was in Quebec, Canada. In March the competition is in Utah.