Skiing

Marcel Hirscher: A Remarkable Alpine Skiing Comeback with the Netherlands

Ossie Khan

15th May 2024 2 min read

Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian maestro of Alpine skiing who left the sport at the pinnacle of his career in 2019, is poised to make a stunning return to competition next season under the Dutch flag. At 35 years old, Hirscher’s decision to return to the slopes stems from his enduring passion for the sport and his desire to once again test his limits on the world stage.

Announcing his comeback through a press release from the Dutch ski federation, Hirscher expressed his genuine enjoyment for skiing and his eagerness to compete once more. Patrick Riml, the ski racing director at Red Bull, Hirscher’s sponsor, revealed that Hirscher had been contemplating a return for several years before finally committing to the decision.

Eligible to represent the Netherlands due to his Dutch heritage through his mother, Hirscher’s request to switch nationalities was approved by the Austrian ski federation. The International Ski Federation (FIS) must also ratify his switch, paving the way for his anticipated return to competitive skiing.

Hirscher’s comeback journey will begin with lower-level FIS races in New Zealand in August, where he aims to accumulate the necessary points to rejoin the World Cup circuit. His ultimate goal is to compete at the world championships in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria, in the upcoming season, demonstrating his unwavering ambition and determination.

Despite his retirement in 2019, Hirscher has remained dedicated to the sport, continuing to train rigorously and test his equipment throughout the winter seasons. With plans to compete in both slalom and giant slalom events, Hirscher’s return has reignited speculation about his ability to compete at the highest level.

Acknowledging Hirscher’s unparalleled talent and previous achievements, Riml emphasized that “Marcel is Marcel,” underscoring the Austrian skier’s enduring legacy in the sport. With two Olympic gold medals, five individual world titles, and 67 World Cup race victories to his name, Hirscher’s return adds a new chapter to his illustrious career.

As he prepares to embark on this new chapter, Hirscher’s comeback represents a beacon of hope and inspiration for fans worldwide. While his focus remains on the upcoming season, the possibility of his participation in future Olympics remains uncertain. Riml emphasized the importance of taking each step of the journey as it comes, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of competitive sports.

With Marcel Hirscher’s return to Alpine skiing, the Netherlands eagerly anticipates the resurgence of its presence on the slopes, as one of the sport’s most celebrated champions prepares to make his mark once again on the world stage.

Source: https://www.nbcsports.com/olympics/news/marcel-hirscher-netherlands-comeback-alpine-skiing

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