Canadian Evan McEachran felt a huge weight off his shoulders after scoring a silver medal at the freeski slopestyle World Cup season opener in Stubai, Austria, on Sunday.
The Oakville, Ont., native said he landed his dream run on the course during qualifying on Friday, but was uncertain how that would translate to the final due to a change in conditions.
"Unfortunately the weather wasn't amazing today so I didn't have great training," McEachran said.
"That first run I didn't have speed, so I decided to improvise my second run and somehow managed to put it all together and end up in second."
McEachran's decision to improvise netted him a total of 86.20 points to earn his first World Cup medal.
Oystein Braaten of Norway scored 91.40 to win the competition, while American Colby Stevenson was third at 81.80.
McEachran, 20, is excited about his start to the season – especially with it being an Olympic year – but is also feeling a sense of relief.
"It's a huge weight off my shoulders for sure," he said. "It's really stressful to get a podium and this is my first podium in four years, so it feels insane.
"I'm just excited to go ski for myself now and I think I will be able to put down a lot better runs in the coming events."
McEachran was one of the youngest members in the history the program when he joined the national team in 2012.