From zero to hero, that is what happened to Radoslav Yankov over the 2015 summer time.
Before the season's break, the 1990-born rider from Smolyan was a normal Europa Cup rider with a seventh rank as best result to his belt earned three times.
But when the 190cm tall raceboader entered the 2015-16 season things had changed dramatically – for the good.
The two time junior world champion (2008 and 2009) kicked off his new contest winter in style with a second place at the EC opener in Landgraaf, Netherlands.
Just two months later, he added back-to-back wins at the well-attended Europa Cup event in Hochfuegen, Austria which was the last form test for the most World Cup riders prior to their World Cup opener – and his first true pointer to what he could be capable of.
Just one week later, the strong goofy rider was able to keep the momentum and write history claiming victory in his first appearance in World Cup knock-out rounds.
Yankov became the first ever male snowboarder from Bulgaria to win a Snowboard World Cup event and the second male athlete of his home country to win a World Cup over all six FIS disciplines.
35 years after Peter Popangelov had won the slalom race in Lenggries, Germany back in 1980, Yankov added a new chapter to the FIS history books at the age of 25.
Asked what had changed over the last months, Yankov explained: “A lot of things. But basically I got rid of my back problems and changed the set-up of my equipment.”
15 years before, around the age of ten, the heavy raceboarder had fallen in love with snowboarding in his home town Chepelare.
Ever since, Yankov fought hard to fulfil his dream of becoming an Olympic athlete which actually came true at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games – despite the fact that he is part of what you can call the smallest team on tour.
Yankov travels the world together with his coach, wax tech and friend Georgi Atanasov while being supported by a professional physio since a while when back home .
“Sometimes it's difficult to be only two guys. But we are more than a team!”