With three Olympic Winter Games, six Freestyle World Ski Championships, and a decades-worth of World Cup seasons under his belt leading into the 2015/16 World Cup season and few major highlights to speak of, no one was expecting Ukraine's Oleksandr Abramenko to step and establish himself as the best in the world by season's end. However, that's exactly what he would do.
While Abramenko has been a consistent presence in the top-10 since second season on tour, with a handful of podiums sprinkled through his decade of World Cup competition leading up to last season, with a fifth place at the Inawashiro 2009 world championships and a sixth place at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games to his credit, his performance last season was a stirring example of a tour veteran taking a late-career step forward.
Abramenko landed himself in the top five in all but one event last season, including two second place results and a third to earn himself not just the 2015/16 men's aerials crystal globe, but also the first freestyle globe of any kind for the country of Ukraine.
It was truly legendary stuff by the 28-year-old, and a pleasure to watch by all around the aerials World Cup tour. Let's watch and see now if he can carry some of last season's magic into this season and through the Sierra Nevada 2017 Freestyle World Ski Championships.