Pyeongchang, South Korea • Three seconds.
That’s what it boils down to. Who can tuck the tightest, who can spin the fastest, who can flip with most speed, and ultimately, who can land it cleanly. Mac Bohonnon knows this. Every Olympic aerialist does. But it doesn’t quell the sting or the immediacy of dreams vanishing in three seconds.
“It’s part of our sport,” said Bohonnon. “It’s something that all of us have gotten used to and you have to get used to that. You spend countless hours and years training for literally three seconds in the air and that’s your only chance.”
One bad jump is all it takes. And Bohonnon’s first jump wasn’t clean. His second was better, but not enough. And in a flash, the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang ended for the 22-year-old from Madison, Conn. Bohonnon, who now lives and trains full-time in Utah, is also a University of Utah student.
Bohonnon finished 11th overall and did not advance to Sunday night’s men’s aerials finals at the Phoenix Snow Park. His second jump, a back full-double-full-full, scored a 112.39. The top six advanced on.
Bohonnon had long planned to potentially utilize one of the most difficult tricks in the sport, ’The Hurricane,” made famous by the late Jeret “Speedy” Peterson. Had he advanced to the final and needed a gold-medal jump, he had one in his back pocket.
Instead, he’ll have to cheer on teammate Jonathon Lillis, who finished No. 1 in the first jump, automatically qualifying for the finals with a 127.44, on the same jump Bohonnon tried on his second attempt.
“It just didn’t quite go my way,” Bohonnon said. “It’s not easy to stomach, and by no means am I excited about it, but that’s something you’ve got to learn to live with and that’s part of this sport. You’ve got to be able to accept the lows to enjoy the highs.”
Lillis, who grew up in Rochester, N.Y., is the reigning 2017 world champion in men’s aerials. The 23-year-old said he once again rose to the occasion.
“That is when I seem to do my best,” he said.