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Xu Mengtao wins China’s first aerials gold, Megan Nick takes bronze

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Xu Mengtao won gold in the women’s aerials on Sunday, becoming the first woman from China to win the Olympic ski aerials event.

The event originally had its qualifying rounds postponed due to heavy snowfall.

With a score of 108.61, she edged out defending champion Hannah Huskova of Belarus. Team USA’s Megan Nick took bronze, holding off fellow USA teammate Ashley Caldwell. Caldwell put down the two highest-scoring jumps of F1, scoring 103.92 and 105.60 on triple-twisting triple backflips, but slapped back on her landing in F2 to take fourth.

“Taotao has been pushing triples for longer than I have, and I respect her wholeheartedly,” Caldwell said. “For her to win the gold medal in her own country is an incredible accomplishment and it brought tears to my eyes just as much as sadness did.”

Nick’s bronze medal is the first for the U.S. women in individual aerials in 24 years. Nikki Stone was the last Team USA athlete to earn a medal, a gold, at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano.

Nick and Stone are the only two Americans to bring home a medal in the event.