The Associated PressVIENNA (AP) — Marcel Hirscher’s biggest wish was to leave Alpine skiing as a winner.
On Wednesday, the two-time Olympic champion from Austria did just that.
Hirscher, the first skier to win eight overall World Cup titles, made a live announcement on Austrian national TV that he is retiring after dominating his sport for more than a decade.
“I always wanted to end my career as long as I am winning races. I didn’t want to oversee the moment where things get worse,” said the 30-year-old Hirscher, who won Olympic gold in giant slalom and Alpine combined in Pyeongchang in 2018. “My decision is two weeks old. I think it is good the way it is. This feels right.”
Hirscher’s retirement is no surprise.
At last season’s World Cup Finals in March, he openly questioned his own motivation to chase more titles, after expressing similar doubts a year ago.
After marrying long-term girlfriend Laura Moisl and becoming a father in the offseason in 2018, he said “blue and red are not the most important things in life,” referring to the colors of the gates in a slalom race.
“Many people didn’t take me seriously when I talked about considering retirement,” said Hirscher, adding he had a lot of potential projects he could start working on “but nothing is concrete yet.”
Traveling the circuit with his own 10-man team, including father Ferdinand as a coach, Hirscher dominated the sport for so long that he is certain to be remembered as one of the all-time greats. No other male skier has won more than five overall titles.
Hirscher won eight, despite the fact that he rarely competed in super-G and didn’t race a single downhill in his World Cup career.