Marcel Hirscher before resigning: The blue and red no longer irritates him
Even David Alaba seemed taken. The Austrian national player of Bayern spoke on the weekend after the 6: 1 against Mainz not only about his beautiful free-kick goal - but also on the subject, which is currently moving his home nation. "You know what a legend he is," Alaba told reporters. "He has given us so much pleasure to Austrians and it's extremely sad that he's leaving now."
Marcel Hirscher, the world's best skier of the present and perhaps of all time, will officially declare his resignation this Wednesday. The 30-year-old has invited to a press conference in Lounge 5 in the Salzburg Gusswerk, a modern company and event area in an old bell foundry, have announced media from all over the world, from Italy, France, Scandinavia. The New York Times is there, CNN, the BBC. The ORF transmits to Prime Time. Live from 20 clock.
Of course, it was to be expected that the big news leaked in advance. When a ski racer finishes his career, he must first inform his suppliers, his ski company, his sponsors, in front of the public. A big sponsor of the Austrian Ski Association is the "Kronenzeitung". The newspaper reported the news exclusively on Saturday.
Because of his driving style, he was already written off
Marcel Hirscher, two-time Olympic champion, seven-time world champion. Winner in 67 World Cup races. Eight times in a row winner of the overall World Cup. The last winner of the big crystal ball, which was not Hirscher, was Ivica Kostelic in 2011. Growing up on a farm in the Salzburg Alps, son of the hut host of the Stuhlalm in Lammertal, early written off because of his driving style, the junior coach certified him, he would continue the radii and curves around the slalom gates so extremely tight, he could throw away his knees at 14.
Today Hirscher is 30 and enjoys good health, which is why his resignation at the present time in the first moment amazed - as well as Felix Neureuther, who delivered with Hirscher over many years great duels. "I hoped until the very end that the Marcel carries on," said Neureuther the SPIEGEL, "I'm surprised that, I would not have expected it, in any case, extremely bitter, so we lose a major player in the sport."
Neureuther and Hirscher not only combined a healthy rivalry, but also a close friendship. In 2013, when Hirscher on the drive to the race to Garmisch plagued violent stomach colic and he called in search of a doctor at Neureuther, sent him immediately to the specialist of his confidence. "Felix is like a big brother to me," Hirscher once said.
Actually still in the best age
And why the end right now? With 30, in the best skier age, 2021 is the next World Cup in Cortina d'Ampezzo, 2022 Olympics in Beijing. Many big titles could still be won, he would also have reached the eternal record of Ingemar Stenmark with 86 World Cup victories. However, anyone who listened carefully to his interviews over the past few years felt that doubt accompanied him, how long he could still do this to himself and would like to do it. One year ago, as a new-born father, he said his son's birth had shown him that "blue and red are not the most important things", an allusion to the colors of the slalom poles.
The eternal traveling around in winter, the short break after the end of the season in April. The return to training in May, weeks of summer training in the winter southern hemisphere, whether in Chile or New Zealand. After twelve years in the World Cup that can also wear down a Marcel Hirscher, last winter he was often drained and tired. But even then he still dominated the competition.
"He has always gone to the limit in everything, he has always pursued the quest for perfection," says Neureuther, who ended his career in March and recently said only in the conversation that the step was also for him "a liberation". Neureuther became the father of daughter Matilda in October 2017, wife Miriam expects the second child in winter, and his family's priorities have shifted too. "The Marcel could also run the program down and would dominate the World Cup with less effort," Neureuther says, "but that was not his claim, with only 150 percent or nothing at all."
7 imagesMarcel Hirscher: The blue and red no longer irritate him
Often Hirscher was obsessed, almost driven, especially by himself. Hardly anybody was tormented while training like him, his favorite exercises were one-legged squats with a 30-kilo barbell over his head or push-ups with hands and feet in four rings as one knows from artistic gymnastics.
And once he was back on top of the podium, it seemed as if he could not enjoy the moment at all. Because he thought again about the next race. The pressure felt then to stand up again. The pressure is now off. As can be heard, coaches, supervisors, officials last tried to retune him, to persuade him to continue his career. Vain.
On Saturday, Hirscher visited the Salzburg Festival with his wife Laura, they saw "Salome" by Richard Strauss. Hirscher likes operas, he likes being on the bike or in a kayak. Hirscher no longer needs to take account of balanced nutritional plans, he can now eat Kaiserschmarrn and Schnitzel to his heart's content and his beloved bacon snack, all that he already enjoyed as a child with Mama Sylvia on the Stuhlalm. Hirscher now has time for leisure and family. Time to enjoy life, a colorful life with many facets and nuances of color. More varied than just blue and red.