Speed specialist Klaus Kroell retiring after 156 downhill starts
156 downhills! No one had more World Cup start in that discipline than Klaus Kroell. After a successful career, the Austrian speed specialist decided to put an end to his active career and retire from the World Cup circuit.
This week-end, the last speed events of the regular World Cup season took place in Kvitfjell. The Norwegian venue is special to the Kroell, as he took three of his six World Cup victories there: in 2009 in the downhill and 2012 in both the super-g and the downhill. 2012 is the year everything came together for the Austrian and he claimed the downhill globe during the Finals in front of his home crowd in Schladming, leaving Beat Feuz only 7 points behind.
In 16 years of active World Cup racing, the 36 years old Klaus Kroell collected 24 podiums, the last one earned in the legendary Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen last season. This long experience may benefit to the young racers in the future, as Kroell started the education to become a ski coach.
“After such a long time in ski racing, the day has come to put an end to my career. Of course it is very emotional, but I really enjoyed downhill until the very end. Even if the results were not there anymore, it was always a pleasure to be in the starting gate and I always gave my best. My highlight was certainly the downhill globe win in 2012. It has always been one of my biggest goals, and to reach it at home at the Finals in Schladming was a privilege.”
We wish Klaus all the best and lots of success in what comes next for him.