Mario Matt bids farewell
On Thursday morning, during a press conference held in St.Anton, Austrian slalom specialist Mario Matt announced his retirement from ski racing.
"I noticed during the course of this season that ski races are no longer the most important thing in my life," Matt said. "Looking back fills me with great satisfaction. I believe not many have been as lucky as I have, becoming twice World Champion and winning an Olympic gold.”
Matt has been off the slopes due to an ankle injury since failing to finish the 1st run of the World Championships slalom in Vail Beaver Creek in February and will miss the two remaining slaloms of the season, Kranjska Gora and Meribel.
"Further evaluations have shown that the injury that I have suffered at the World Championships was worse than originally thought. Due to a bone marrow edema on my ankle I will no longer be able to race this season," Matt explained.
As far as plans for the future go, Matt is mainly looking forward to spending more time with his beloved horses and working at his apres-ski bar, called Krazy Kangaroo in St. Anton.
"What I will not miss is the never ending process of testing materials. This took a lot of emotional power out of me especially in this winter," he said.
Matt leaves the sport as one of the most successful slalom racers of all time. In his 15 years of competing at the highest level, Matt won the slalom World Championships titles 2001 and 2007 and is the current Olympic Champion after winning gold in Sochi 2014 and celebrated 15 World Cup victories (14 slaloms, 1 combined).
The FIS Family wishes Mario all the best in his future endeavors and hope to see him back on the slopes in a different role in the future.
Contributed by www.skionline.ch