Austrian World Cup alpine ski racer Marcel Hirscher (26) has had an illustrious career which reached new heights last winter when he dominated the giant slalom standings with five wins, including one with an amazing winning margin of 3.28 seconds in Garmisch, becoming the most successful Austrian World Cup slalom skier of all time. Hirscher also won the GS title for the second time last winter.
In the final race of last season in Méribel, Hirscher overturned a 55-point deficit in the standings by winning his 16th World Cup slalom, and with it he won the slalom title for the third year in a row. Most remarkable of all, Hirscher became the first male alpine skier to win the overall World Cup title four times in a row.
When did you first start skiing, and how soon did you know you wanted to be a racer ?
> In my memories I learned how to ski before I was able to walk. So I think I was born as a ski racer. 😉
You have achieved so much. Do you have any ambitions remaining that you have not yet achieved ?
> Of course I have! What do you think about a 5th overall? Honestly, I’m still thirsty and looking for the perfect turn. I think that is ambitious, isn’t it?
Anything you particularly like to do away from skiing when you are not racing or training ?
> Spending quality time with my girlfriend, my family, my friends and our dog, Timon.
The FIS has approved airbags for racers but reports say that no one is using them yet ?
> I’m sure improvement continues. And if they are ready, then they’ll be used.
Are there any ski resorts you especially like, and if so what makes them special for you?
> I love the Austrian slopes because that’s my home base. But all the slopes I have got to know over the years each have their special attractions. I don’t think I want to rank them!
Is there any innovation in ski equipment/clothing you are particularly impressed by ?
> Yes, nearly every innovation since I learned to ski! Just think of your own first ski suit or remember videos from early World Cup races … Crazy! But indeed I think one of the most important ones was the ski helmet.
Any advice for any young people getting into ski racing ?
> The most important thing is fun. And it’s an underestimated strength. Things go easily when you’re having fun.