AT LIENZ AND ZAGREB, MARLIES SCHILD
NOTCHES HER 31ST AND 32ND WORLD CUP
SLALOM VICTORIES BY ERIC WILLIAMS
Who needs New Year’s resolutions when you’re already perfect?
Ask Austrian Marlies Schild, who closed 2011 with her fourth consecutive slalom win in Lienz — with a
0.79-second margin — and then rang in 2012 by almost doubling that gap on the same runner-up, leaving
Slovenian Tina Maze 1.40 seconds behind at the night slalom in Zagreb.
Schild, who is engaged to longtime boyfriend and fellow Austrian great Benjamin Raich, never tires of
winning. She has won 29 of the last 50 World Cup slalom races she has started and always appears the
grinning first-timer with each trip to the top of the podium — never callous, never bored or cocky. Her smile
seemed to shine brightest under the Zagreb lights as she collected her 32nd career win.
Only Swiss legend Vreni Schneider owns more World Cup slalom victories with 34, leaving Schild five
more chances this season to sign the record books. “I never thought about winning so many times,” said
Schild. “This is just amazing! It’s so cool that I’m speechless.”
Without a hint of arrogance, Schild’s confidence is way up there. Her competitors are poring over her
race footage for clues to what makes her so good. She says there is nothing up her sleeve but elbow
grease. “There is no special secret in all these victories,” she said. “They are just a result of hard work during summer months, maximum of concentration during the runs and just skiing my best slalom turns.”
Maze, who has stood below Schild on three podiums this season, knows a little about Schild’s shadow.
“At the time being it is no secret that beating Marlies is not very much reality for any of us girls,” said Maze.
“She is just too good right now.”
Schild, 30, may look perfect but she is human. And all that winning can wear a girl out. “I am ready for a
break,” Schild told Fisalpine.com as the women’s tour headed into back-to-back speed events. “It’s been
four slaloms in two weeks and I am starting to feel the tiredness. It’s hard for the head to keep the focus,
so I am looking forward to two weeks of training and skiing just for fun a little bit.”
Another finish, another win for Marlies Schild. SkiRacing.com JANUARY 16, 2012 | 30