The 2016/17 season saw Swiss star Fanny Smith battling back into the top tier of competitors after missing all of 2015/16 due to injury, as the 25 year old claimed six podiums in 12 events to finish third overall on the season, as well as putting down an inspired performance at the Sierra Nevada 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships to claim silver - her third career world championships medal.
A skier since the age of 2, Switzerland's Fanny Smith was groomed to be a champion beginning from as the day she was able to walk.
Growing up racing, jumping, and competing with friends on the slopes of Gryon and Villars in the French part of the Swiss Alps, Fanny began to stoke the fires that would lead to her being accepted, at the age of 14, to the specialty athlete education program in the Swiss alpine town of Brig-Glis.
It was there, in Brig-Glis, that Fanny first began looking to take her love of speed, air time, and head-to-head competition to the next level, setting her sights on the World Cup ski cross tour.
However in 2009, with her schooling done, Fanny found herself without an official Swiss junior ski cross program to graduate to. So, with the help of her father and her sponsors, the young skier set about creating an intensive, ski-cross-specific program for herself and other promising youngsters.
Before too long, the small training crew that Fanny and co. had put together was integrated into the Swiss national team. And, not too long after that, the young Ms. Smith began making some noise on the World Cup circuit.
Smith secured her first podium in her second full season on tour, locking down a 2nd place at Lake Placid, USA, on 24/01/2010, at just 17 years old. She got her first win just under a year later, at Innichen/San Candido, ITA, on 19/12/2010. This victory was followed by two more 2nd place finishes in the 2010-11 season, before the young skier tore her ACL and was forced out of competition for 14 months, just as she seemed on the cusp of joining the world's ski cross elite.
However, after an lengthy rehabilitation, Fanny Smith returned to the World Cup in stunning fashion, dominating the 2012-13 season by winning the first three races of the year, taking four victories total, claiming a podium spot in six out of ten races, taking the crystal globe as the world's top-ranked ski cross racer, and winning the ski cross World Championships in Voss, NOR.
Despite a disappointing showing at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Fanny's 2013/14 season had nearly as much going for it as did her previous campaign, as she racked up seven podiums, including back-to-back victories in Are, SWE. However, unlike in 2012/13, last season she had some competition at the top, as Marielle Thompson (CAN) went step-for-step with Fanny through every event of the season.
It all came down to the final half of the final race in of the season, in La Plagne, FRA. There, Thompson made a bold pass on Fanny and was able to hang on to win both the race and the crystal globe by the barest of margins.
After the disappointment of settling for second place the season before, Smith struggled out the start of 2014/15 before finding her form a few races into the season, taking back-to-back wins on home soil in Arosa to get back on track.
She would lock in a bronze medal performance at the Kreischberg 2015 Freestyle World Ski Championships, before going on to again score a bronze medal in the final season standings after being assessed a disqualification in the second-to-last competition of the season in Tegernsee (GER).
After what was a frustrating finish to the 2014/15 season, things somehow just got worse for Fanny Smith in 2015/16, as she suffered a crash in qualifications that resulted in a shoulder injury which would keep her out of competition for the entire season.