While Finnish moguls skiing has a rich history that includes an eight-year heyday from 1998-2006 that saw them win four Olympic medals in three Games - lead by Janne Lahtela’s gold medal at Salt Lake City 2002 - the nation has taken something of a step back in recent years as the nation developed its next crop of athletes.
In 2015/16 it appears that that development is finally paying off, with 21-year-old Jimi Salonen emerging as one of the most exciting skiers on the FIS Freestyle Ski moguls World Cup tour.
From February 4-6 2016, on the same course where Lahtela won his gold medal in 2002, Salonen stepped up to lay down two of the best performances of his young career, earning a fourth place in the single moguls event and then a second place in the duals to finish the weekend as the top skier on the men’s side.
Doubly impressive in the duals was the way he went about earning what would be the first podium of his career, dispatching the great Mikael Kingsbury (CAN) in a quarterfinal matchup that perhaps no one but Salonen himself knew he could win.
With history and ever-improving skill set on his side, look for Salonen to continue to rise up the World Cup standings in 2015/16 and in the years to come.