It was a blazing season opener with temperatures nudging 40°C down at a packed Possum Kingdom Lake, when Kris Kolanus kicked off the anniversary World Series with an exceptional display of diving to take his maiden victory at Hell's Gate in Texas in June 2018.
With this sensational victory the Pole added his name to the elite list of event winners to make it 13, but could not nearly repeat this feat in the rest of the season. Still, an overall 6th place marks his best result since his first year in the series back in 2011.
The 32-year-old is the first and only athlete in the history of the World Series to return as a permanent diver after being forced into wildcard status for the previous two seasons in 2017.
The gifted graffiti artist grew from a promising background – a diving-coach as a father and an acrobat as a mother. Now the world awaits the next generation of top athletes with great curiosity, since Kolanus and fellow cliff diver Anna Bader have just started a family of their own.
For family reasons, Kolanus withdrew from competition for the rest of the season following the Beirut stop.