After failing to finish the first run of the World Cup slalom in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday, 39-year-old Italian veteran Patrick Thaler retired after 21 years on the World Cup. The Italian was hoping to represent his country at the upcoming Olympics, but after a tough season made it clear that was not a possibility, Thaler announced that the Night Race in Schladming would be his last.
“It’s hard to say enough after twenty one years of racing,” he said. “But it’s time to close this wonderful adventure.”
Thaler leaves the World Cup at 39 and ends a career that started in Shigakogen, Japan, in March 1997 and ended on the Planai slope of Schladming on Tuesday night. Three third-place finishes were the high points of his career with two coming in Kitzbuehel in 2009 and 2014 and one in Val d’Isere in 2013. Thaler represented Italy in three Olympics and five World Championships with a seventh place in the 2009 World Championship slalom in Val d’Isere a highlight.
“I do not want at this time to stay in the world of skiing and make the same sacrifices I have made in recent years, even if you never know what life has in store for you,” he continued. “I thank the coaches with whom I have worked at this time and the Federation that has always supported me.”
Release courtesy of the Italian Ski Federation.