Marcel Hirscher has enjoyed his best ever alpine skiing season after he finally added Olympic Winter Games gold medals to the successful defense of his FIS World Cup overall, giant slalom and slalom titles.
The Austrian’s season looked in danger after a pre-season ankle injury, however he recovered brilliantly to win an incredible 15 races out of the 24 he started.
The 29-year-old also visited Hangar-7 for a Sport and Talk interview where he opened up about his great rivalry with Henrik Kristoffersen and the brilliance of women’s star Mikaela Shiffrin.
1. You’ve won seven consecutive overall FIS World Cup titles and been so dominant for so long, but do you fear each time could be the last?
It will definitely stop! Knowing this, I think I need not be scared – even though the moment when you realize you are not going to be at the front anymore is going to get weird. In truth, it can come anytime – or not, if I finish my career before that.
2. Do you have an overall title target in mind? Is 10 realistic?
No. It’s cool that I can be here with everything I have achieved so far. I want to process that first, so I’m just not thinking about the next goals.
3. Mikaela Shiffrin has been enjoying your sort of dominance this season. How impressed have you been by her and what do you think she can go on to achieve for the rest of her career?
Mika is an amazing talent! She drives an extremely fast momentum and has her own style that makes her hard to beat. She makes FIS World Cup events a big highlight of the year and is still very young. I think we will see and hear a lot about her in the next few years.
4. You’ve had all manner of rivalries in your career, but is Henrik Kristoffersen your toughest rivalry to date?
Henrik is a very important benchmark in the World Cup and, certainly, not just for me! There are several more too like Alexis (Pinturault) as well as Felix (Neureuther), Manuel (Feller) and Michi (Michael Matt). Their training times push me to go faster. I actually manage to do a lot better in racing situations than in practice.
5. When your ankle broke before the season started, you must have thought that your dreams were over. How tough was it to fight back to full fitness?
The fitness level was a minor problem because I had been through a good training programme far away from the snow every day before the plaster was on and then during the recuperation.
6. You were back in the gym incredibly quickly. Did it give you the opportunity to work on muscles and areas of the body you wouldn’t have normally targeted?
Not really. I could not fully load my leg at the beginning, but that came back pretty fast again.
7. Do you ever worry about life after competing?
Yes, those thoughts keep coming back. I already have some ideas and plans about what can happen after my career finishes but I am enjoying the moment first of all.
8. An Olympic Winter Games gold was the one thing missing from your career list and now you have two after PyeongChang, so what’s the next target?
I do not think of any targets for a few days – except holiday destinations!
Release courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool