The FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup made an unusual stop this season with an indoor event staged at the iconic Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, China. Built to host the ceremonies, and Athletics events for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Summer Games, the grounds of the Bird’s Nest have been transformed from a Summer Olympic venue into a freestyle mecca for the first of what will become an annual stop on the FIS Freestyle calendar.
China is the current world powerhouse in aerials, with both the men’s and ladies’ 2013 world champions and 2012/13 men’s and ladies’ crystal globe winners for overall World Cup performance hailing from the nation. Mengtao Xu is the unofficial leader of the Chinese team and the the favourite to win every time she straps on aerial skis. For the Chinese men, Zongyang Jia leads the charge in Beijing placing third this weekend.
In the women’s competition, Xin Zhang of China won the event in front of Lydia Lassila of Australia for second place and Mengtao of China for third.
In the men’s competition, Travis Gerrits of Canada managed to win in front of three Chinese favorites on their own ground. Chao Wu and Zongyang Jia took second and third place.