Austrian giant slalom specialist Philipp Schoerghofer announced the end of his active ski career on Monday as part of a press event in Obertauern. The 36-year-old can look back on a successful career and talked with Ski Austria about his retirement, about his greatest success and about his plans for the future.
After tearing cartilage in his knee following a crash in 2017, the Austrian was on his way back to the top of the World Cup before being diagnosed with a herniated disk in his back this season, effectively ending his career.
“My goal was to return to the World Cup after my 2017 knee injury and to ski quickly,” Schoerghofer said. “Unfortunately, that did not work out. I could not really overcome myself, to risk everything. I had a lock in my head. The herniated disc was then, in the negative case, the icing on the cake. The diagnosis has pulled the ground from under my feet. That’s when I decided that I would end my career.”
In a World Cup career that started in 2006, Schoerghofer stood on the podium six times, including one victory in the 2011 Hinterstoder GS. All of Schoerghofer’s podium appearances came in GS. A two-time Olympian, the 36-year-old was also the World Championship bronze medalist in GS in 2011, finishing behind American Ted Ligety, and was also on the silver-medal winning Austrian team in the team event that same year.
“Luckily there have been some highlights,” he added. “Of course it could have been more, but also less. You have to be satisfied too. The victory in Hinterstoder was really cool. That was the best day in my career. I experienced everything. From serious injuries to big successes. I am proud and grateful that I have done all this and mastered it.”
Looking towards the future, Schoerghofer will continue to work for his equipment suppliers as an ambassador and did not rule out the possibility of sitting down in the commentary booth to lend his expertise to the Austrian faithful watching on TV each week.
Release courtesy of the Austrian Ski Federation.