Nov 12, 2013, 9:43 AM EDT
What’s it like to be the best Alpine skier from the sport’s richest nation?
Ask the two-time reigning World Cup overall champion Marcel Hirscher, the top Austrian gold-medal hope going into the Sochi Olympics.
“If you’re standing in front of a big, big, huge wall, and you have no opportunity to climb up there, and then behind you, there are a hundred crazy dogs who want to eat you up, then you have to go for your life,” Hirscher, 24, told The Associated Press.
Austria has won 105 Olympic Alpine skiing medals, nearly twice as many as second-place Switzerland (56). The U.S. is fourth with 39.
But the land of Franz Klammer and Hermann Maier produced zero men’s Alpine medals at the 2010 Olympics.
The pressure is on Hirscher to deliver gold in Sochi. He’s the reigning world champion and World Cup champion in the slalom and a rival to Ted Ligety in the giant slalom.
No other Austrian man or woman led a World Cup discipline or won an individual world championships last season.
Hirscher will be looking to top the podium again Sunday, when the Alpine skiing World Cup visits Levi, Finland, for a slalom. Hirscher was third in the season-opening giant slalom (behind winner Ligety) in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 27.
He took second to Swede Andre Myhrer in Levi last season.
Ligety, too, is slated to start in Levi. The American has obviously been working on his slalom.
Mar 9, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
Cross-country skiing on tap for Sunday in Sochi.
Mar 8, 2014, 2:19 PM EDT
World record holder has won four straight major multi-event championships.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT
U.S. speed skaters continue strong form after Olympic disappointments.
Mar 8, 2014, 10:20 AM EDT
Olympic figure skating analysts draw laughs on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Mar 8, 2014, 9:28 AM EDT
Veteran U.S. Paralympic medalists shine in Sochi, but Russia couldn’t be stopped.
Mar 8, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT
U.S. teen phenom wins eighth career World Cup race.
Mar 8, 2014, 7:32 AM EDT
American shoots up World Cup giant slalom standings with one GS left.
Mar 8, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT
Live stream of men’s and women’s Alpine skiing downhill races.
Mar 7, 2014, 3:28 PM EDT
Full Day 1 recap of events in Sopot, Poland.
Mar 7, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Ukraine official has said delegation may leave Sochi if Crimea situation escalates.
Mar 7, 2014, 1:52 PM EDT
White House spokesman says case of beer will be delivered soon.
Mar 7, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
Races for World Cup crystal globes heat up in Sweden.
Mar 7, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Zero Americans won medals in Sochi. Two made the podium in one day in Inzell.
Mar 7, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT
Canada’s gold-medal goalie headed for Columbus, Ga.
Mar 7, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
Watch the ceremony from Fisht Stadium in Sochi.
Mar 7, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT
Security guard, ex-girlfriend testify on fifth day of murder trial.
Mar 7, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT
Same agency that confirmed Yuna Kim is dating a South Korean hockey player.
Mar 7, 2014, 6:59 AM EDT
Lead singer rubbed blue substance on his face during their performance.
Mar 7, 2014, 6:31 AM EDT
Ukraine athletes set to compete in Russia amid Crimea situation.
Mar 6, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT
1984 and 1988 Olympic champion joins Arizona Cardinals staff.
- Ashton Eaton ‘disappointed’ after missing world record in heptathlon; World Indoors recap 0
- U.S. wins 3 medals on first day of Sochi Paralympics 0
- Mikaela Shiffrin captures slalom title, inspired by girl with leukemia (video) 1
- Ted Ligety wins first post-Olympic race, notches World Cup first (video) 0
- President Obama yet to deliver after losing Olympic beer bet 6
- Shannon Szabados joins men’s pro hockey team 0
- Oscar Pistorius said ‘everything is fine’ to security calling about gunshot reports (video) 0