Relatively unheralded in his four seasons of World Cup action leading up to the Sierra Nevada 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Spain, Japan's Ikuma Horishima launched himself from the role of promising youngster to a place in moguls history with a remarkable performance at the those championships.
Before Sierra Nevada 2017, Horishima has but one podium (recorded at the start of the 2015/16 season) and a total of five top-10 finishes to his name in his World Cup career. However, with three of those top-10's coming in the final four events of the 2016/17 season, the rest of the moguls world may have seen signs that the 19-year-olds upward trend was happening at an opportune time.
Still, few could have imagined the magic to come in Sierra Nevada, where Horishima shocked the moguls world by becoming the first man to ever claim world championship gold medals in both the moguls and dual moguls events.
With his combination of speed, control, tricks, and fearlessness, all signs suggest that Ikuma Horishima is not destined to be just a flash in the pan and should be one of the ones to challenge the great Mikael Kingsbury for gold come time for competition at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.