Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 1,344
Beat Feuz (SUI), 1,330
Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR) 1,131
Klaus Kroell (AUT) 605
Beat Feuz (SUI), 598
Didier Cuche (SUI), 521
Aksel Lund Svindal (NOR), 413
Didier Cuche (SUI), 400
Beat Feuz (SUI), 368
Ivica Kostelic (CRO), 336
Beat Feuz (SUI), 300
Romed Baumann (AUT) 159
Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 705
Ted Ligety (USA), 513
Massimiliano Blardone (ITA), 408
Ligety blew out of the course in the final GS.
Andre Myhrer (SWE), 644
Ivica Kostelic (CRO), 610
Marcel Hirscher (AUT), 560
A knee injury at
fragments in his knee. Bode Miller, having fun again, skiing well, and in conten-
tion for the downhill title, would be forced to call it a season after a knee injury
he sustained off the last big Sochi jump. And in Sochi’s combined downhill,
Ivica Kostelic would tweak a knee that required surgery, essentially ending any
significant contributions to the rest of his season. He was leading the overall
and slalom standings. His combined victory at Sochi, completed for all practical
purposes on one leg, did bring him that title, his career fifth crystal globe. The
Feuz gamely stayed in the chase, even winning at Kvitfjell, but it was evident
he didn’t have his top gear. The super G at Schladming was the last straw.
Hirscher’s 60 third-place points moved him within 75 points of the Swiss. A win
in GS the next day put Hirscher 25 points in the lead with just the slalom left, and
Feuz gave up the chase. He would finish the season second overall, second in
downhill, second in combined and third in super G, all to different men. With the
retirement of Cuche, Feuz finds himself in the role of Swiss team leader.
The GS title was one of close scrutiny for U.S. fans. Ted Ligety came into
the season as the clear No. 1, having won the crown in 2011, 2010 and 2008.
Though he would score more GS points in 2012 than in any of those seasons,
he would finish the year 192 points behind Hirscher.
Shred Ligety started strong, going 1-2-1. A pair of fourths, in the season’s
most prestigious GS’s at Alta Badia before Christmas and Adelboden after New
Year’s, left him clinging to the GS standings lead with six weeks to wait for the
next race. Ligety’s aggression on skis is well known. There are dangers in that
approach. As he said, “live by the sword, die by the sword.” At Bansko, Bulgaria,
as the GS season moved into a calendar with four races in a month, he spun out
in a second-run charge. At Crans-Montana, in heavy, wet and very warm snow,
Ligety made a tactical error and found himself looking up at Hirscher in the GS
Ligety rebounded with potency at Kranjska Gora (see the story in this issue)
with the biggest winning margin of the season, but the damage had been done.
He went to Schladming a severe underdog, needing the Austrian to crack to
overtake him. Far from cracking, Hirscher came into the Schladming GS on
the heels of his super G breakthrough and survived his own first-run error for
his ninth win of the season. After blowing out in the first run but hiking, Ligety
grabbed a pair of next season’s controversial skis and recorded the fastest sec-
ond run of the day, just after Cuche had clearly demonstrated just how far ski
equipment had come with his four-and-a-half minute run.