Canadian Olivier Rochon finishes 5th in men's aerials

No Canadian man has earned a medal in the event since 1994

By Pete Evans, CBC Sports

Canadian freestyle skier Olivier Rochon finished in fifth place in the men's aerials finals on Sunday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, after attempting one of the most difficult jumps in the competition, but couldn't stick the landing.

The 28-year-old skier – competing in his first Olympics – advanced through two earlier rounds, landing him in the final group of six jumpers where medals are handed out based solely on the final run.

By that point, two of the favourites had been surprisingly eliminated, which left everyone still in it with a shot at an unexpected medal.

Rochon saw his opportunity and went for it, attempting a back lay-triple full-full — the most difficult jump of anyone among the final six, consisting of three flips in the air, with four twists in the middle.

While Rochon was in great shape in the air, he couldn't manage to land the difficult jump cleanly, which cost him points. 

"He went for it," CBC's aerials analyst Deidra Dionne said. "But there will be no regrets here. He knew he had to go for that gold with how this opened up."

While Canada was an early pioneer of the sport, the country has now been held off the podium in every Games since 1994, when two Canadians — Lloyd Langlois and Philippe LaRoche  — took silver and bronze in Lillehammer.

Gold went to Ukrainian skier Oleksandr Abramenko, silver went to China's Jia Zongyang and Olympic Athlete from Russia Ilia Burov took the bronze.