Defending World Cup champion Hirscher had reportedly been toying with the idea of retirement for some time and he had already cancelled one press conference scheduled for earlier in the summer.

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However, in Austria on Wednesday evening, Hirscher confirmed he would not be coming back to a sport that he has dominated for the past eight seasons.

"Today is the day on which I will end my active career," Hirscher told a press conference in Salzburg in front of his eight Crystal Globes.

“It’s not a major surprise anymore. The last two weeks have seen a lot of turbulence, but I feel very clearly and there were many reasons… I’m at the pinnacle.

My body is a bit tired after 12 years. It’s a very decisive argument. And the fact, of course, that I wanted to leave as a champion.

“I always wanted to quit at a moment where I knew I could still win races. Even in 2013, I felt it’s as good a day to stop as any. It doesn’t get any better, but then I carried on.”

Hirscher has won the overall World Cup title eight times - from 2012 through to 2019 - and that is more Crystal Globes than anyone else in history.

'King of Slalom' Hirscher completes hat-trick

To go with that record he has six Slalom globes and six more in Giant Slalom with 67 World Cup victories, behind only Ingemar Stenmark (86) and Lindsey Vonn (82).

Hirscher also has seven World Championship gold medals and two at the Olympics.

Our View: Like his talent, Hirscher's retirement transcends the sport he dominated

Marcel Hirscher walks away at the very peak of his powers, the undisputed leader in his field, and one of the greatest of all time, how many athletes are able to say that?

As the Austrian bids farewell to a sport he has made his own, Pete Sharland pays tribute to an athlete who re-wrote the record books. Read the full feature here

Pinturault: "Hirscher is the greatest skier in the history of our sport"

"For me, Marcel Hirscher is the greatest skier in the history of our sport," said Frenchman Alexis Pinturault (as per ), who was so often foiled by Hirscher having finished second overall last winter.

"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."

Alpine Skiing
Like his talent, Hirscher's retirement transcends the sport he dominated
24/12/2019 AT 09:14