This week, one of the greatest ski racers of all time, Marcel Hirscher, called it quits. In his career, he collected 67 World Cup wins, three Olympic medals, nine World Championship medals, 12 slalom and giant slalom crystal globes, and an unprecedented eight, straight Overall World Cup titles from 2012-2019.

Since the close of last season, his ski racing future was uncertain, and many are surprised to see such a young, talented athlete – arguably at the pinnacle of his career – say goodbye to the sport.

“The last two weeks have seen a lot of turbulence, but I feel very clearly and there were many reasons. I’m at the pinnacle,” he told reporters Wednesday at a press conference he held surrounded by all his crystal globes. “My body is a bit tired after 12 years. It’s a very decisive argument. And the fact, of course, that I wanted to leave as a champion.I always wanted to quit at a moment where I knew I could still win races.”

And so he did.

Since the announcement, many of his peers have paid tribute to him via Instagram.  Longtime tech rivals, Ted Ligety and Alexis Pinturault have even called him GOAT. Below are some of the posts remembering Hirscher and his impressive career.

 

 

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Strange how emotional it can feel to say ‘goodbye’ to a retiring athlete, but then again it’s not strange at all. When it’s an athlete you have been learning from and finding inspiration from for your entire career, it’s not strange. When it’s an athlete who took your sport to totally different heights, who showed that what we once thought was impossible is possible, it’s not strange. When it’s an athlete who has inspired generations of athletes to come to get up, to fight, and to bring their absolute best every single time, it’s not strange. When it’s an athlete who always treated the others with respect, and showed us what sportsmanship means, it’s not strange. No, it’s not strange at all. Thank you for the incredible moments in this sport, Marcel. Wishing you all the best for the future. 🙌🙌🙌 #GOAT (*wipes tear from eye*) 📷: GEPA/@atomicski

A post shared by Mikaela Shiffrin ⛷💨 (@mikaelashiffrin) on

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So many great achievements by this incredible athlete but what I respect the most has always been his sportsmanship. @marcel__hirscher Once again, he's proven even more that he's just a regular guy that wants to prioritize health happiness and family over winning and breaking more records. Congratulations on everything! And I know you are about to have the best adventure yet:) from an athlete that was never able to finish at the top of their game, I can understand wanting to retire at your best- all though it would have been extremely hard for me to retire after I won my gold medal ( since it was the first race I won) I feel like I might have done things in the wrong order🤪 I always wish I could have done more, and not being able to come back from my injury was tough, but it always brought me to the question if any athlete is every satisfied at the end of their career? I think it's natural to always want more success. What do you think?

A post shared by Julia Mancuso (@juliamancuso) on

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