Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Stats and quotes from Austrian Marcel Hirscher on his resumed dominance.
Marcel Hirscher is once again the dominant force of men’s alpine skiing. His stranglehold on the sport had looked in doubt after breaking his ankle but the race wins are once more coming thick and fast. As he begins 2018, we take a closer look at the Austrian, who also sums up the past months in his own words…
Hirscher facts and stats
– Hirscher was only 15th place in the World Cup overall standings in 2011 before his maiden win the following year. He has not lost the crown yet and looks on course for a seventh straight globe.
– He was just two-and-a-half years old when he first skied, his parents working at a local ski school in Annaberg, Austria. His father, Ferdinand, who he calls ‘the supervisor’, is still part of his ski team on the World Cup circuit.
– Hirscher is ranked fourth in the all-time list for World Cup victories on 49, just one behind Alberto Tomba. Hermann Maier is second with 54 while Ingemar Stenmark is some way ahead in the top spot with 86 victories.
– One of his more recent successes in Alta Badia was a record fifth straight win there, beating the great Tomba in the process.
– His list of hobbies reads like a who’s who for adrenaline junkies. Among his off-season exploits are tightrope walking, dirt biking, rock climbing and white-water kayaking. Of such ventures, he says “With that, I feel fear. Fear helps you to keep alive. If not, the day will come when it’s dangerous.”
– Such is his technical prowess and dominance in the slalom discipline that he once won a World Cup race – in Garmisch in March 2015 – by 3.28 seconds. He joked in an interview he had watched it back 100 times to try to repeat the feat.
– In December 2015, he narrowly avoided injury when a drone filming from the skies above crashed down on the slope behind him.
Hirscher in his own words…
“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!” – Reflecting on winning a sixth overall World Cup title.
“There is no use moaning about it. Instead, I can be grateful that I stayed injury-free for six years – apart from the odd bout of man flu…” – He’s able to see the funny side of his clean streak with injuries after breaking his ankle.
“I’m hungry and really keen to get back to my great skiing shape, the shape I was in for the last couple of years. That’s my objective. We will have to make compromises, which is never a good thing in a high-performance sport, but we don’t have many options… The bottom line is this: It will be an exciting season, if not the most exciting season of my career” – After winning his fitness race to ski at Levi three months after his ankle break.
“It had been a strange training week in Colorado. At first I was two seconds behind all of my team colleagues. In the middle of the week I was only one second behind and then, suddenly two days before the race, I was only five tenths of a second behind and then I was on top” – On his remarkable return to the top with giant slalom victory at Beaver Creek at the start of December.
“I landed on my butt and almost got myself disqualified. I’d love to tell you what went through my head at that point – but that would mean using a pretty inappropriate language on this blog” – After escaping a near wipeout to take victory at Madonna di Campiglio.