At home, Marcel Hirscher
puts the finishing touches
on a breakout season
BY HANK MCKEE
On March 2, less than two weeks before the World
Cup Finals in Schladming, Austria, Marcel Hirscher
turned 23 — a babe in the woods of World Cup suc-
Now he owns the woods.
In a sport most recently dominated by more expe-
rienced skiers, Hirscher accumulated nine wins and
14 podium finishes. More telling, perhaps: his worst
finish of the season was a sixth, back in October. He
has given his competitors plenty of reason for pause
not so much by the number of wins, but by the manner
in which he gathered them: daring, charging, tighter
lines. But he saved the best for last — or next to last,
At Schladming, in the World Cup Finals, he displayed
an ability possessed by all great champions in the oh-
so-varied world of sport. He shut out the pressure, and
there was a weighted ton of it. He said he had 50 to
100 pounds lifted off his shoulders after the final race.
Pretty sure an entire country weighs more than that.
Marcel Hirscher skied with daring lines tight to the gates.