VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- When Jeret Peterson landed the most daring jump in men's aerials, "The Hurricane," he also landed something else: a silver medal.
Peterson's score of 247.21 -- the tally of his two jumps in the competition, including the 128.62 he received for executing the five twist and three flips "The Hurricane" demands -- was good for second place in the men's aerials competition tonight at Cypress Mountain.
Peterson was in the middle of the pack after the first round of jumps, fifth among 12 competitors. After completing his second jump, Peterson rejoiced immediately, waving his arms in the air, smiling and pumping his fists, and hugging and high-fiving several people standing along the edge of the mixed zone. When his score was posted, his celebration was justified -- he moved into gold-medal position with just four aerialists remaining. His score for his second jump was the third-highest for any single jump in the competition.
Peterson was eventually bumped from the top slot by Belarus's Alexei Grishin, the second-to-last aerialist to take on the ramp. Grishin, who won a bronze in Salt Lake City eight years ago but did not medal in 2006 in Turin, Italy, finished with a combined score of 248.41, just 1.20 points ahead of Peterson.
Kyle Nissen of Canada led after the first round, but he received just a 112.39 on his second jump, finishing fifth overall with a score of 239.31 to put him behind behind silver medalist Liu Zhongqing of China (242.53) and fourth-place finisher Ryan St. Onge of the US (239.93).
The medal comes with a touch of redemption for Peterson, a three-time Olympian who finished ninth in the event in 2002 at Salt Lake City and seventh in 2006 at Turin, Italy. Four years ago, Peterson couldn't complete the landing on "The Hurricane," and he was later sent home from the games after punching a friend in the face.
The medal is the third for the US in the event, along with the gold by Eric Bergoust (1998) and silver by New Hampshire's Joe Pack (2002).
* * *
9:58 p.m. Peterson' gets bumped to silver by Belarus's Alexei Grishin. Only Canada's Kyle Nissen remains, so he is assured of at least a bronze medal.
China's Liu Zhongqing is second with a score of 242.53.
9:52 p.m.: Judging by his jubiliation after returning to earth, Jered Peterson just nailed "The Hurricane," also knowns as a back/full/triple-full/full combo that includes five spins and three spins . . .
. . . and his score confirms his gravity-defying, disorienting-just-to-watch second jump. Peterson takes over the top spot from St. Onge, scoring a 128.62 on a jump that had a 4.900 degree of difficulty.
His score of 247.21 is nearly eight points better than that of St. Onge, who sits in silver-medal position.
There are four aerialists remaining, so at the least, Peterson appears to have a good shot at a medal.
Update, 9:42: Five aerialists into the second round, and Ryan St. Onge of the US has the lead with a combined score of 239.93 after a second jump of 124.66.
With seven skiers with higher first-round scores still to come, it's unlikely he'll hold on to the top spot, but it was an impressive second jump nonetheless.
Update, 9:34: Because they jump in reverse order of finish, Peterson will jump eighth in the second round, just as he did in the first.
Funny little item from the scene: There is a white couch set up in the mixed zone for those who are in the top three positions. When someone is bumped from the top three, they have to get up and leave. It probably looks more awkward than it is. Given that this is on NBC, it's a mild surprise Jay Leno isn't sitting at a desk next to them throwing out one-liners that are weaker than . . . well, this one.
Update, 9:25: So after the first of two rounds is complete, Jeret Peterson medal hopes remain in decent shape.
He's in fifth place, having been bumped down one more spot by the last of 12 jumpers, China's Jia Zongyang, who took over fourth place.
Canadian Kyle Nissen remains in the top spot, but his score is only 8.35 higher than Peterson's. The scores of each aerialists two jumps are combined to determine the winner.
Think it's time for a Hurricane warning?
Update, 9:15: Not a bad jump at all by Peterson, but if he is going to medal, he's going to have to nail "The Hurricane."
Peterson is in fourth place after his back/full/double/double-full maneuver, with four of the 12 competitors remaining. His jump had a degree of difficulty of 4.425 -- the same as that of eight others in the first round -- and he received a score of 118.57 from the judges.
He appeared to smoothly deliver all of his moves while in the air but stumbled a bit upon landing, though he did not fall. He celebrated as if he thought the score would be higher than it was, pumping his fist and hugging a few people in Team USA clothing along the edge of the mixed zone.
Ryan St. Onge of the US is in seventh place with one aerialist remaining.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The men's aerials are underway at Cypress Mountain. The conditions are considerably improved over last night, when the women's aerialists competed in foggy, snowy conditions.
We're keeping an eye on Jeret Peterson, who goes eighth in the first of two jumps. Peterson is expected to attempt his signature move, "The Hurricane," in his second jump. It's dangerous and difficult -- it includes five midair spins and three flips and has the highest degree of difficulty, 4.900, of any jump any aerialist will attempt tonight.
His first jump will be coming up momentarily -- the sixth jumper, Belarus's Alexei Grishin, just completed his first attempt a second ago, earning a 120.58 to take second place. Canada's Kyle Nissen is first at 126.92 through six competitors.
By the way, if you are unfamiliar with Peterson's difficult (to say the least) background, Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan wrote an outstanding, richly detailed column about him Tuesday. Here's the link.
Familiar foes: Can we admit it now? A US-Canada showdown in the women's gold medal game was inevitable from the beginning, or at the very least once it was clear this young, rebuilt version of the US team would not take Sweden -- which pulled off a stunning upset over the Americans in 2006 at Turin, Italy -- lightly. But that's not to suggest it's a tired rivalry. The US enters as underdogs searching for its first gold since 1998. Canada enters as the favorite, and its should be bolstered by a rowdy home crowd that thirsts for gold. But only a fool writes off a team that has Jenny Potter and Angela Ruggiero on its side. Expect another memorable chapter to the rivalry. 6:30 p.m.
Competition and emotion: South Korea's Kim Yu Na, who was spectacular in the short program Tuesday night, comes in to the women's free program as the heavy favorite to win gold. But all eyes -- including more than a few teary ones -- will be on Canada's Joannie Rochette, who mustered the strength to finish third in the short program despite the sudden death of her mother, Therese, of a heart attack Sunday. One programming note: Be sure to check back right here tonight, when the Globe's John Powers provides instant analysis during and after the program. 8 p.m.
And don't forget . . . Jeret Peterson takes to the air at Cypress Mountain in the finals of the men's aerials. He says he will break out "The Hurricane," his daring -- and incredibly dangerous, given its five midair spins and three flips -- signature move. If he lands it, he could leave with some gold. 9 p.m.
So it's all over on snowy, soupy Cypress Mountain. China's Xu Mengtao wipes out while trying to complete the most difficult jump of the night, and the gold goes to Australia's Lydia Lassila (214.74), with China's Li Nina (207.23) and Guo Xinxin (205.72) claiming the silver and bronze.
Mengtao mighth have found a spot on the podium, but she lost her footing while landing her back/lay/double-full/full jump -- which has a 4.175 degree of difficulty -- and got turned around 180 degrees so she was facing the ramp before toppling.
Belmont's Emily Cook finished 11th with a score of 148.92, right behind teammates Lacy Schnoor (ninth, 172.89) and Ashley Caldwell (10th, 171.10)
Update, 11:24 p.m. Assoli Slivets of Belarus bumps Cooper from third place, scoring a 95.90 on her second jump for a total of 198.69.
. . . and Australia's Lydia Lassila follows Slivets's jump by bumping everyone down a notch, taking over the top spot with a combined score of 214.74. With one competitor remaining -- China's Xu Mengtao -- Lassila, a crowd favorite judging by the cheers when her score is posted, is assured of silver, with Li Nina having a hold on the bronze.
Update, 11:21 p.m. After nine competitors in the second jump, China's Li Nina (207.23) and Guo Xinxin (205.72) are 1-2, with Cooper hanging on to third. Cook is eighth.
Update, 11:14 p.m. So there will offically be no medal for Cook, who has been bumped to fifth overall after six competitors. Midway through the second run, the current leader is Australia's Jacqui Cooper, who has a combined score of 194.29.
Update, 11:06 p.m. Now that's the poise of an Olympic veteran.
Cook delivers on her second jump, a back/double-full/full, earning a score of 83.89, which temporarily puts her in first place.
She is unlikely to remain there -- she has a combined score of 148.92, while 10 competitors are yet to make her second jump -- but it was a nice moment of redemption after her first jump ended in disappointment.
Cook's second jump had a degree of difficulty of 3.525, the same as her first jump. After her smooth landing, she immediately raised both arms in the air and pumped her fists.
Update, 10:58: Emily Cook needs a terrific second jump and a sizeable helping of good fortune if she is going to earn a medal in women's aerials tonight at Cypress Mountain.
After the first run, the 30-year-old two-time Olympian is in 11th place among 12 competitors with a score of 65.03. Australia's Elizabeth Gardner is 12th with a 63.04.
That means Cook will be the second to go in the second round of jumps, since they go in reverse order of finish in the first round.
Update, 10:45: Tough first jump for Belmont's Emily Cook, who fell backward while landing to complete her jump and banged her head on the ground before recovering.
Cook came up holding her mouth, but appears to be OK. Her medal chances probably aren't, however. She scored a 65.03, which puts her seventh among the eight competitors to so far to make their first of two jumps.
Her jump was a Back/full/Double-full, which had a 3.525 degree of difficulty, the same as five of the 12 finalists. No one has a lower degree of difficulty on their first jump, though two will on the second jump.
Update, 10:43: Cook up now. Lacey Schnoor, her US teammate, just scored an 89.88 for fifth place among seven competitors.
* * *
VANCOUVER, British Colombia -- The women's aerials are getting underway right now on right now at Cypress Mountain, despite foggy, sloppy conditions.
Belmont's Emily Cook, who finished fifth in qualifying, will be the eighth of 12 competitors. Currently, China's Mengtao Xu is in first place after five aerialists have gone.
She scored a 108.5 on a back/Lay/Double-full/Full, which had the highest degree of difficulty of any manuever in the competition.
Dylan Ferguson, the Amesbury native who is a member of the US freestyle ski team for the Olympics, has been hospitalized with a stomach infection that could threaten his chance to compete, according to the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune newspaper.
Ferguson, who specializes in aerials, had his appendix removed Feb. 4. The newspaper reported that he was hospitalized in Park City, Utah, for the second time in a week last Wednesday, and did not travel to Vancouver with the team for the opening ceremony.
"I'm taking it day-by-day," Ferguson told the Eagle-Tribune. "I don't want to get my hopes up or down. I'm trying not to think about the Olympics right now. I need to heal up and get better before I can even think about it."
The freestyle men's aerials competition is scheduled for Monday (qualifying) and Feb. 25 (finals).
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vermont native and Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney talks about moguls, the Red Sox and peanut butter at the USA House in Vancouver. (Video by Yoon S. Byun, Globe Staff)
VANCOUVER -- Alexandre Bilodeau won more than just a gold medal tonight in the men's freestyle skiing moguls. He won a permanent place in Canadian lore.
The 22-year-old became the first Canadian athlete to win a gold medal on home turf, expertly navigating the Cypress Mountain moguls course in 23.17 seconds to post a winning score of 26.75. Dale Begg-Smith, who competes for Australia despite being a Vancouver native, was second, while 19-year-old American Bryan Wilson was third.
Canada did not win a gold medal in the two previous Olympics it hosted, the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal and the 1998 Winter Games in Calgary.
Bilodeau's unexpected victory eased the burden on a Canadian team that entered the Winter Games with a mantra of "Own The Podium," but had been frustrated in the first day-plus of competition, most notably when Jennifer Heil could not claim the gold in the women's moguls Saturday.
The final skier of the competition, France's Guilbaut Colas, had a chance to knock Bilodeau from the top. But when his score was posted -- he finished sixth -- Canadian fans erupted in celebration and song.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Olympics sports writer John Powers talks about Saturday's results and gives a preview of Sunday's freestyle skiing, biathlon, and nordic combined. (Video by Yoon S. Byun, Globe Staff)