After knocking on the door but falling short of the medal podium at the Vancouver Games, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher will head to Sochi as a strong gold medal favorite in the technical events. Since making his Olympic debut in 2010, Hirscher has won consecutive World Cup overall titles as well as globes in the slalom, in 2013, and the giant slalom, in 2012. At the 2013 World Championships, Hirscher won gold in the slalom and silver in the giant slalom while helping to power the Austrians to gold in the team event.
- 2013: World Championships – Gold (slalom, team), Silver (giant slalom)
- 2013: World Cup Standings – 1st (overall, slalom)
- 2012: World Cup Standings – 1st (overall, giant slalom)
Things to know:
1. A dominant 2013 World Cup season saw Hirscher, nicknamed “Magic Marcel,” land a total of 18 podium finishes out of 19 races in the two technical events. The only race in either slalom or giant slalom where he finished outside top 3 was the giant slalom in Adelboden, where he came in 16th after a near-fall during the second run.
2. Hirscher began skiing at the age of two under the direction of his father, Ferdinand, who runs a ski school during the winter and a restaurant during the summer. Hirscher was inspired to become a skir racer after meeting two-time Olympic gold medalist Hermann Maier at a young age.
3. Prior to the 2010 Olympics, there was some speculation as to whether Hirscher would even make the loaded Austrian team. Had he not made it, he would have considered skiing in Vancouver for the Netherlands as his mother Sylvia is from The Hague.