Australian aerial skier, Abbey Willcox, wins World Cup bronze

Aussie aerial skier, Abbey Willcox, claimed the first World Cup medal of her career, winning bronze under lights at day two of the FIS Freestyle World Cup in Deer Valley, Utah.

This is Australia’s second medal of the event after Jakara Anthony took silver in the women’s moguls yesterday.

Willcox qualified for finals in fourth place, and finished in fifth place in the first round of finals to advance to the top six super final.

The 23 year old from the Central Coast in New South Wales landed her lay-full double back somersault in the super final, to give her 81.78 points and the bronze medal, with 2019 World Champion Aliaksandra Ramanouskaya of Belarus taking victory with a big score of 106.74, and American Megan Nick in second place with 83.89 points.

“It feels absolutely unreal and to be doing it in Deer Valley with this crowd is amazing,” an excited Willcox said after the event. “It was my first time in the finals and on the podium so I had all sorts of emotions going on. We had a couple of tricky days training, it was snowing a lot and I knew I could jump during the snow, during the wind because we’ve had a lot of practice for that in the past, so I just took it jump by jump.”

2015 Australian World Champion Laura Peel qualified for finals in third place, but unfortunately fell on her triple back somersault in the first round of finals, finishing in ninth place.

After three events, Laura Peel is currently ranked third in the world, with Willcox moving up to sixth on the FIS World Cup standings.

The next stop on the World Cup tour for the aerial skiing athletes will take place in Moscow, Russia, with a spectacular city event, with the aerial site made out of scaffolding and snow trucked in.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.