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  • Writer's pictureRaúl Revuelta

Marcel Hirscher Makes a Sensational Comeback

Updated: May 3

Marcel Hirscher
Marcel Hirscher. Picture: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

Ski Superstar Marcel Hirscher is making a sensational comeback to the Alpine Ski World Cup. The 35-year-old is returning to the ski competition for the Netherlands. Thanks to his mother Sylvia, Hirscher has a Dutch passport.

"Today is the day that I officially end my skiing career". With these words in 2019 at a news conference in Salzburg, screened live on Austrian television (ORF), Marcel Hirscher ended months of speculation by announcing his intention to retire.

"You know me. I either go all in, putting in 150% effort or nothing. I can be very satisfied with my career, I was very lucky to never get serious injuries in all these years, and I slowly realized that I was not willing to pay the high price that it takes to always be at the top in this sport. Additionally, I wanted to leave as champion and I feel this is the best moment to retire", Hirscher said.

Hirscher contested his last race on March 17, 2019, the Slalom event at the Finals in Soldeu (Andorra).

Marcel Hirscher is making his comeback at the age of 35 with one goal above all: to have fun. He has never lost his joy of skiing. That's why he's making his comeback five years after retiring. "The great passion and love for skiing have never gone away".

After his retirement, Marcel Hirscher, with the support of his long-time sponsor, Red Bull, founded the Van Deer ski company, which equips two world-class athletes, Norwegians Henrik Kristoffersen and Timon Haugan.

The chance to further promote his own Van Deer brand and test and develop it further in racing is a great incentive for Hirscher's return and would be a marketing coup for the project.

Another incentive is the celebration of the Alpine World Ski Championships next February 2025 in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, in Salzburg, Hirscher's homeland.

The change to the Netherlands Ski Association is also easy to understand. "I don’t want to take anything away from any young athlete in Austria. That goes towards trainers, resources, and starting opportunities, I don’t want to stand in anyone’s way. The future belongs to others," said Hirscher in an ORF interview.

Therefore, his new project is easier to implement when competing for the Netherlands Ski Association, including the further expansion of the awareness of his own ski brand Van Deer.

With Hirscher, one of the most successful skiers in history is returning to the slopes.

In 2019 Marcel Hirscher wrote Alpine Skiing history by winning the Overall globe for the eighth time in a row. No one ever achieved this feat. Incredibly solid and constant in the tech disciplines, and in great shape throughout the whole season, the Austrian impressed and became the greatest World Cup skier ever.

During the 2018-2019 winter season Marcel Hirscher collected his sixth career Slalom and Giant Slalom globes. It capped off a career-best season for the Austrian technical ace with one World Championship title, two discipline globes, and his eighth consecutive Overall title.

Marcel Hirscher equaled Lindsey Vonn on a record 20 World Cup classification wins by winning the Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Overall Crystal Globe in 2019.

Marcel Hirscher won in 2019 the Giant Slalom Crystal Globe for the sixth time, surpassing Ted Ligety (5) and Vreni Schneider (5) for second-most all-time (men and women). Ingemar Stenmark holds the record of eight in this event.

Born in Annaberg-Lungötz, Salzburg, on March 2, 1989. Hirscher made his World Cup debut in March 2007.

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Starts: 16

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Podiums: 9

FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Victories: 5

Schladming 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom 1st

Schladming 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 2nd

Vail / Beaver Creek 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 2nd

Vail / Beaver Creek 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Alpine combined 1st

St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Alpine combined 2nd

St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Giant Slalom 1st

St. Moritz 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom 1st

Are 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Slalom 1st

Olympic Winter Games Starts: 7

Olympic Winter Games Medals: 3 (2nd in Slalom in Sochi 2014)

Olympic Winter Games Victories: 2 (1st in Giant Slalom and Alpine Combined in PyeongChang 2018)

FIS World Cup Starts: 245

FIS World Cup Podiums: 138

FIS World Cup Victories: 67 (32 Slalom, 31 GS, 2 City Events, 1 Parallel Slalom, 1 Super-G)

Marcel Hirscher has repeatedly been acknowledged as one of the greatest athletes, even beyond skiing. He was named five times the Austrian ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ and in 2018 was elected ‘Champion of Champions’ by French newspaper L'Equipe and ‘Sportsman of the Year’ by Eurosport -- joining the important list of sporting greats to have been honored, including Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Usain Bolt and Lionel Messi, Novak Djokovic and Lewis Hamilton.

Last season, the first 150 on the FIS points list in the respective disciplines were eligible to start in the Men's Alpine Ski World Cup. Hirscher is currently ranked 300th in the Slalom and 777th in the Giant Slalom, so, he has to improve significantly his ranking in order to return to the World Cup. The criteria for major events are less strict, which opens the door for him to take part in the Saalbach 2025 Alpine World Ski Championships.

Hirscher has to work his way back up the rankings by taking part in small FIS races and thus qualify for a World Cup start. This assumes starts in summer races in New Zealand.


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