US athlete hopes switch to skiing leads to trip to Beijing

China 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WCMH) — Karenna Elliott loves to flip. It’s why she competed in trampoline gymnastics growing up. But in 2014, everything changed at a competition.  

“The guy who recruited me worked for the ski team and he just came up to me after competition and was like hey, do you know how to ski? And I was just kind of like, skiing?! I don’t know what that is,” said Karenna.  

And so, at the age of 14, Karenna changed course. She’s still flipping, but now doing it on skis. 

“Flipping is the easy part. It’s the landing for me that’s the difficult part,” said Karenna. “Because these big, long skis are not normal for me so learning how to land was definitely the hardest part of that.” 

Now 21 years old, the Cincinnati native has recently been named to the U.S. Aerials national team. She’s spent the summer training and splashing down in Park City at the Utah Olympic Park. 

“The water ramps we have, we have a big pool with like a million and a half gallons of water, it’s huge,” said Karenna. “And the water ramps, they are these steel ramps made out of a plastic material, kind of like your toothbrush, kind of like bristles. And we get the bristles wet and then we can ski down it just like regular snow.”  

Soon enough, she will have to land on snow again, as the World Cup season gets underway. And for Karenna, that means her opportunity to secure a spot on her first Olympic team. 

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