Last year, Hirscher won his sixth consecutive overall World Cup championship; no other racer had ever won six. He has won 10 races this season, all in the slalom and giant slalom, already a career high. He has 55 career wins, surpassing Austrian legend Hermann Maier’s 54.


He comes to PyeongChang to race in the slalom, GS and downhill combined with a glaring gap in his résumé: In two prior Olympics, Hirscher won only a silver medal, in the slalom at Sochi in 2014. The lack of a gold has become an obsessive topic in Austrian media, and Hirscher admits to feeling pressure to win here — pressure intensified by his declaration this will be his last Olympics, even though he is only 28.


Last year, while holding the crystal globe given to the overall champion, Hirscher claimed he would prefer to win another of those trophies over an Olympic gold medal. “We have enough Olympic champions from Austria,” Hirscher said. He is consistent in his stance: The Olympics are a one-time crapshoot, but a season title is clear proof who the best skier is.


“For me, personally, it would be not a big deal,” Hirscher said. “It would be for sure a disappointment if I don’t win a gold medal. But I think it would be pretty easy for me to handle this. Because I know I will try my best. I’ve done everything for this. What more can I do? Nothing. But for sure, it is not fun to read the newspapers.”


Source: www.washingtonpost.com