Maria Hoefl-Riesch accepts what will be her last World Cup title
A week ago, Maria Hoefl-Riesch should have been standing on top of the season’s downhill podium accepting the title she deserved after a fantastic season, but things didn’t go as planned as the German suffered a fall during her run, ended up in the nets and had to be airlifted off the slope to get medical treatment. Despite the crash, which marked the end of Hoefl-Riesch’s season and put her out of the race for the Overall, she still won the downhill title but was unable to attend the award ceremony.
As Hoefl-Riesch recovers from the crash, the German Ski Association with the cooperation of their main sponsor Audi, decided to organise the crystal globe handover this Wednesday at the Audi Forum Airport Munich. The globe has been presented to Hoefl-Riesch by Alfons Hörmann, FIS Council Member and President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation and followed by a press conference where Hoefl-Riesch confirmed what has been speculated over the last few weeks – she would be retiring from the sport she has been a key player in for the past years.
"The decision has been made: I'm finishing my career as an active skier," Hoefl-Riesch said in Munich.
"I gave everything I had for another Olympic medal, I worked hard to fulfill this dream again. It went well in the super combined in Sochi, and this was a big relief for me. The decision was not easy but I am of the opinion you should stop when you are at your best,” she explained the timing of her decision.
Three gold and one silver Olympic medals added to the six World Championships medals she won during her career make her one of the most decorated skiers of our times and will certainly be a great reminder of the career she chose to leave behind.
On top of the medals won at the big events, Hoefl-Riesch won a total of six World Cup titles - 1 Overall, 1 downhill, 1 super-G, 2 slalom, 1 combined, competed in 356 World Cup races, won 27 of them and stood on the podium an impressive total of 81 times.
A simple Tweet, posted on her official account after the press conference, summarised her decision.
“I made my decision. It’s a good moment to complete my career and start a new stage of my life. Thank you for your great support,” she wrote after collecting what will be her last World Cup Title.
All we can say is thank you Maria for the great things you have done in our sport, you will certainly be missed but we wish you all the best in whichever new adventure you decide to undertake in the future!