Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
Exclusive blog sees Austrian discuss his record breaking sixth World Cup title.
It is one thing to win my sixth overall World Cup title – but it is another thing to actually hold that trophy in my hands! I spent plenty of time last week thinking of that moment, so it was such a great feeling when I was finally handed the trophy in Aspen. I know that I have been fortunate enough to write skiing and sporting history – and I also know that I would not have been able to do it without the team around me. Thank you to everyone who has helped me achieve this milestone!
In the days and weeks before the final race weekend of the season I said again and again what a great feeling it is to ski without any pressure. That was the same again in America, where I was able to enjoy the experience to the full. Everything was perfect, from the weather to the motivation levels – even though we knew that we had already secured the overall title, everyone in the team was focussed and keen to finis the season on a high.
One of my highlights in Aspen was victory in the giant slalom. It was the last race of an era, because from next season onwards I will no longer be able to use the skis that I have come to love. That was just one of the reasons why it was a very emotional win for me. Now things are set to change completely with the introduction of the new rules on skis. It is a shame, really, because in recent races I felt that I had finally found my ideal set-up. My results also reflected how happy I was with my material. But instead of looking back, it is time to do what we do best: look forward and adapt to the new situation.
For much of the slalom on Sunday it also looked like we would be able to win the race, but a small mistake exiting one of the final few gates on the course at the end of the second run was enough to slip off the podium. It was bitter because I was so close to another victory, but on the other hand it also shows just how many good skiers there are in our sport – one tiny mistake is enough to drop you from first to fourth. Normally I am really angry with myself when I make these kinds of unnecessary mistakes, but in this case I wasn’t too furious – after all, the happiness of winning my sixth overall title was more than enough to balance out the disappointment of losing out in the final slalom of the season ; )
Another reason to be happy is that I am finally heading home. Once I get back I will be going on holiday with Laura: relaxing, chilling out, getting away from it all, mobile phone off – simply enjoying life! I am really looking forward to that. Back in Salzburg I have a few media and sponsor commitments, but I will also spend time just realising and enjoying what we have achieved this season. As the Native Indians say, I need peace so my soul can catch up. One thing is for sure: I won’t be thinking about skiing for quite some time!
Thank you for an unforgettable season!
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