While he's now one of the key components driving the strong Swiss team to the top of the FIS Freestyle ski cross World Cup power rankings, understated ripper Armin Niederer once worked as a carpenter, and the patience, commitment, and attention to detail necessary for achieving the desired objective when working with wood have transferred well to his skiing career.
A veteran of the World Cup tour since the 2007-08 season, there was little that Armin accomplished in the first several years of his career that suggested he would go on to be the #2 ranked ski cross racer in the world that he is today.
He scored his first podium in his second season - a 2nd placing in La Plagne, FRA, in March 2009 - but didn't register his second climb onto the steps until January 2011 - nearly two years later. In his first four seasons, then, he only registered two podiums in 46 races while also failing to qualify for the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
In the 2011-12 season, however, he began to show some promise, making it through to the 32-man finals in every race he started and registering his highest World Cup points totals up to that point in his career. His results suggested he was learning what it took to win on the tour, and his calm, quiet demeanor suggested that his lack of top results wasn't getting him down.
In the 2012-13 season he stepped up and proved it.
Beginning at the first race of the season, where Armin took the first win of his career in Nakiska, CAN (after placing second at the Canadian National Championships the week earlier), he showed that the hints of promise and the subtle progress of his previous seasons combined with an off-season of vigorous training had come together in a big way for the diminutive skier.
Armin went on to place 3rd at the second North American stop of the season in Telluride, USA, before hopping across the Atlantic and taking down the second win of both his career and season in Val Thorens, FRA. By the time the season ended, Armin had claimed five podiums, a total of seven top-10 results, and was sitting in 2nd behind only his teammate Alex Fiva in the race for the ski cross Crystal Globe.
Along with his teammate Fanny Smith on the ladies' side, Armin's early season performance in 2012-13 was one of the big reasons the Swiss team dominated the season in the manner they did. And, with Armin's emergence as one of the ski cross world's elite talents, the Swiss are now looking like the favorites to keep their spot at the top of the mountain in 2013-14.
|1609625.01.2014||Ski Cross||Kreischberg||AUT||World Cup||10||260.00|
|1608817.01.2014||Ski Cross||Val Thorens||FRA||World Cup||10||260.00|
|1608716.01.2014||Ski Cross||Val Thorens||FRA||World Cup||12||220.00|
|1608615.01.2014||Ski Cross||Val Thorens||FRA||Qualification||17||7.00|
|1606222.12.2013||Ski Cross||Innichen/San Candido||ITA||World Cup||25||60.00|
|1606121.12.2013||Ski Cross||Innichen/San Candido||ITA||World Cup||4||500.00|
|1606020.12.2013||Ski Cross||Innichen/San Candido||ITA||Qualification||5||22.50|
|1605515.12.2013||Ski Cross||Val Thorens||FRA||World Cup||15||160.00|
|1605414.12.2013||Ski Cross||Val Thorens||FRA||Qualification||15||8.00|
|1604707.12.2013||Ski Cross||Nakiska||CAN||World Cup||2||800.00|