Park City's Cole McDonald qualifies 5th in freestyle run

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BEIJING — Park City's Cole McDonald is already having the time of his life in his first Olympics this week in Beijing.

The 18-year-old always dreamed of being in the Olympics since many of his childhood heroes are freestyle skiers. He just never thought he would be skiing next to them so soon at an Olympics.

Moguls could be described as a controlled fall down a mountain with plenty of bumps and jumps along the way.

McDonald said he feels like he hasn't even landed yet. "Yeah, I mean, it's such a long year. Making my first world cup at the end of the last year and coming all the way to the Olympics, it's been a long way and a long journey."

He still can't believe he is in the Olympics. "I didn't even expect it. I was just expecting to make one world cup this year and call it a great season."

Instead, it's been a dream season for McDonald.

He started skiing moguls when his mother signed him up with the Wasatch Freestyle Team at 7 years old to give him something to do.

"Once you start young, they can work you all the way up and have programs for every age, every skill set, and it's just, like an amazing program," he said.

Turns out, he was really good at it and developed into a Junior National Champion.

And now, the Beijing Olympics, where he admits he's still feeling his way.

He knows he belongs. "Yeah, definitely. It's been a big thing for me this season, gaining confidence and getting that feeling that I truly belong out here with the rest of these guys."

He still checks in with his mom in Park City who may be more excited than he is.

"I know there's going to be a watch party going on at my house," he said. "My Mom, I know she's thrilled. She's call me every single day."

And there's no doubt his mom is very happy.

McDonald qualified in fifth place which was good enough to earn a spot in the men's finals which happen later today up in the Mountains near Beijing.

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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero has been reporting for KSL-TV for nearly two decades. He has covered a variety of stories over the years from a variety of places, but he particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.


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