The moustachioed wunderkid Filip Flisar took the Audi FIS Ski Cross World Cup by storm in the 2011/12 season, claiming four podiums, three wins, and the ski cross crystal globe by the time it was all over.
To say that the Slovenian's achievement was remarkable would be, on one hand, accurate; before he won his first race in Alp D'huez on 11.1.2012, he hadn't been on the podium at all in his World Cup career. On the other hand, you only had to watch one run of Flisar powering through a ski cross course to recognize that, with his no-holds-barred style and unmatched explosiveness, it was just a matter of time and maturity before he would establish himself as a force to be reckoned with on the World Cup circuit.
However, after the reaching those lofty heights four years ago, Flisar struggled to recapture the magic from a season where he seemed unstoppable. While qualification was never his forte, he also seemed unsure in the heats, unable to take advantage of the small openings that before he was able to pounce on. Some of those struggles could be chalked up to health problems - a nagging lung problem had him operating below 100% for the better part of a year - but some of it seemed to be a lack of confidence.
That was until the Kreischberg 2015 Freestyle World Ski Championships, where Flisar again flashed the brilliance that has made him a fan favourite on the tour regardless of slipping results.
There, in Kreischberg, he made what was widely considered the best pass of the season, diving low on the final turn to pass both Victor Oehling Norberg (SWE) and Jean Frederic Chapuis before driving hard to the finish to take the gold medal. It was a statement performance for the Slovenian, and all signs point to the fact that the man is back and ready to win again on the World Cup tour.
2015/16 was something of a mixed bag season for Flisar. He came out guns blazing, capturing back-to-back podiums in the first two events of the season,and went on to add a win to that podium total later in the winter in Idre Fjall (SWE) to finish the season ranked fifth overall. However, he also found himself down the pack in some events, with several results in the 10's and 20's.
Flisar's 2016/17 season was again an exercise in boom and bust, as he mixed brilliance - including back-to-back wins at the Cross Alps Tour finale in Innichen/San Candido - with some disappointing results that saw him outside of the top-10 more often than not. However, with four podiums on the season and an oh-so-close fourth place finish at the Sierra Nevada 2017 FIS Freestlye Ski and Snowboard World Championships, Flisar once again showed the world that, on the right day, there are few on earth who can match him on the ski cross course.