Canadian freestyle skier Alex Beaulieu-Marchand pushed his limits and it paid off at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Sunday.
The 23-year-old from Quebec City said he skied better than he ever has en route to winning a bronze medal in the men's slopestyle competition.
He scored 92.40 on his second run to finish behind gold medallist Oystein Braaten of Norway, who scored 95.00. American Nick Goepper was second after collecting 93.60 points on his final run, bumping Beaulieu-Marchand out of the silver-medal position.
"Today was an unreal contest, the craziest contest I have ever seen," said Beaulieu-Marchand. "I came here just to show the world what I can do on my skis and that's what I did."
In slopestyle, each skier has three runs down a course that features rails and jumps. Their best score counts.
Beaulieu-Marchand skied well throughout the final, scoring 81.60 on his first run and 82.40 on his third.
"The jumps I was landing so consistently, those are jumps I have barely practised," he said. "I did more triple flips today than I did in my entire life before."
Teal Harle of Campbell River, B.C., had 90.00 points in his final run to finish fifth. Evan McEachran of Oakville, Ont., scored 89.40 points in sixth place.
Beaulieu-Marchand said he's come a long way from the Sochi Games four years ago when he finished 12th.
"I was young, 19 years old, not in the right state of mind," he said. "Here, I didn't care about the results at all. I was here just for my skiing and that helped a lot.
"Back then I was stressing a lot, just trying to make it as a pro skier."
He said he told himself Sunday that an Olympic medal wouldn't define him.
"If I had crashed in qualies would that have made me less of a good skier? Now everyone is like, 'Yes, cool, he got a bronze medal' but would that (a crash) have made me less of a hard-working person?" he said. "I don't think so. For me the medal isn't necessarily what I was going for.
"Had the others landed and bumped me into fourth or fifth place I would have been happy anyway because I skied the best in my life today."
Beaulieu-Marchand hopes his success will make other kids want to take up the sport.
"Hopefully it's inspired a new generation to come and have fun with us on the slopes," he said.