Vonn and Shiffrin lead tributes after Hirscher announces retirement
From one legend to another, Lindsey Vonn led the tributes after Marcel Hirscher announced his retirement from skiing on Wednesday.
Hirscher confirmed his retirement in a press conference in Salzburg, with the Austrian speaking in front of his record eight Crystal Globes representing his overall World Cup titles.
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On top of those Crystal Globes, Hirscher won six Slalom globes and six more in Giant Slalom with 67 World Cup victories, behind only Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Vonn herself (82).
“It’s been a tough year for ski racing, the legend Marcel Hirscher has announced his retirement,” said Vonn, who retired from the sport earlier this year.
“Congratulations on an amazing career my friend. Racing in the same era as you has been an honour. Eight overall titles is a record no one will ever break! Enjoy the time with your family.”
Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin added: "Strange how emotional it can feel to say ‘goodbye’ to a retiring athlete, but then again it’s not strange at all. When it’s an athlete you have been learning from and finding inspiration from for your entire career, it’s not strange.
"When it’s an athlete who took your sport to totally different heights, who showed that what we once thought was impossible is possible, it’s not strange.
"When it’s an athlete who has inspired generations of athletes to come to get up, to fight, and to bring their absolute best every single time, it’s not strange.
" When it’s an athlete who always treated the others with respect, and showed us what sportsmanship means, it’s not strange. No, it’s not strange at all, THANK YOU for the incredible moments in this sport.""
Pinturault: "Hirscher is the greatest skier in the history of our sport"
"He won everything, he broke all records ... The few remaining records he has not recovered because he decided to stop his career at 30 years.
"I'm not among those who are happy about this situation, I would have liked him to continue because I liked the rivalry, the confrontation and the challenge of running with Marcel.
"Since I was on the circuit and we ran for the first time together in 2009, we have always run against each other for more or less the same goals and on the same disciplines. We live and ski side by side.
"It opens a door automatically but there is still a lot of people, it will be a fight. The favourites we already know: Henrik Kristoffersen, Dominik Paris, Kjetil Jansrud, me, of course, I'm part of it too (...) the chances increase for each of us."