Ski superstar Marcel Hirscher took stock of his new successful winter at his last public appearance for a long time. A decision as to whether he will continue his career at all, continue as before or contest more speed races is still open, but will soon be made, Hirscher said in Vienna on Wednesday.
“Marital, because I owe it to my team and my partners. Accordingly, I try to get a decision as early as possible,” Hirscher said at a press meeting with his main sponsor Raiffeisen when he wants to clarify his future.
At the moment the tendency is to continue as before, i.e. concentration on giant slalom and slalom. Hirscher said, however, that nothing has been decided yet.
He does not have clearly defined goals for a possible career continuation: “That determines what possibilities you have in the season. Tromboning out now is not my thing,” says Hirscher, who is still very motivated: “Because I enjoy racing, it’s a great thing, you also notice that I’m extremely good at racing”.
Last winter, the man from Salzburg delivered his best season so far with 13 World Cup victories, the crystal balls for the seventh overall victory as well as the giant slalom and slalom classifications and two Olympic gold medals.
Looking back, the 29-year-old spoke of an incredible winter in view of his ankle injury in autumn and the terrific outcome.
“The season started out crazy, that’s how crazy she actually stopped. Rehab was the hardest thing, it took longer than I had hoped, it was a test of patience I hadn’t known before. This time it was a different situation, I had to fight hard to be patient.
Meanwhile, however, the injury has healed well, has not caused him any pain while skiing for a long time, yet one still has to work therapeutically, explained the Annaberger.
Despite his series victories, the double Olympic champion still sees room for improvement: “There is no question that there is still room for improvement. Where there is a great need for optimisation is the choice of accommodation and nutrition over the long season”.
In any case, his equipment contributed a lot to the success run. He had incredibly good material and setup, Hirscher affirmed. This is not self-evident, because there have also been losers due to the change of material in the giant slalom.
His last contradictory statements about the speed plans he explained with his own uncertainty about them: “Today I would say: no more time, no more energy for that. If I slept in tomorrow, I would say:’Let’s get on with it’ This is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, such confusions come out. Right now it’s going back and forth.”
Asked about his personality development, Hirscher pointed out that after difficult phases it has been easier for several seasons: “For me it’s no secret that this shapes and changes a person, change is also something positive in any case. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve had to learn a lot very quickly.”
Despite his exhaustion after the hard winter, Hirscher will continue to buckle up his skis next week. He’s flying to Canada on Thursday with friends for heli-skiing. For him, this is not a contradiction: “Because I went on a skiing holiday for the time being, that’s pretty little. That was heliskiing three years ago. That’s the only reason.”
I simply want to enjoy skiing without stress and without being measured in hundredths. If you want to push that to the top, which of course I do, I will do as many vertical meters as possible from nine in the morning until dark”.
His expiring contracts with Raiffeisen and equipment supplier Atomic are likely to be extended soon. Hirscher, Raiffeisen Marketing Manager Leodegar Pruschak and Peter Schröcksnadel, head of the ÖSV, emphasized that the negotiations were well advanced: “This is more or less both in the bag,” said Hirscher.
He answered the question about the targeted length of the contract by shaking his head. Pruschak naturally wants to continue his collaboration with the superstar and described the past season as a “sports fairy tale”. Hirscher’s sporting success, his image values and advertising effectiveness test results were sensational.