Who wants to be one of the big names should take it step by step. Especially if you want to enter the World Cup circus aged 17, especially when this circuit is full of big names you have looked up to in the past.
Markus Schairer did so and prepared himself not only physically but also mentally for the task of being a top boarder crosser. And this strategy paid off.
In 2004, the year of his first World Cup appearance, he grabbed Bronze in his first ever snowboard cross Junior World Championships. The next year, “Max” placed second and added another sbx runner-up title to his belt in 2007. The same year, he also celebrated his first top ten results in the World Cup by placing 4th in Lake Placid, USA and 6th in Stoneham, Canada.
The next season, everything was set for the man hungry for success. Indeed, everything looked fine in the 2007/2008 winter when things started off with a sixth rank at the season’s opener in Chile. In addition, after some disappointing WC results in Europe, the St. Gallenkirch resident got his first nose of how it is being on a podium and thus in the focus of the international media by securing second at the X-Games in Aspen.
But then, a cruciate ligament rapture was equivalent to a long competition break.
However, setbacks sometimes make you stronger, especially if you are such a focused athlete as Markus is. Beginning of 2009, the rider blessed with good constitution, strong will and the never give-up attitude celebrated an impressive comeback.
Within just a few months he not only took the scene by storm earning his first two World Cup podiums as second of Arosa (SUI) and Bad Gastein (AUT) but also claimed his first big title. In Korea, Schairer crowned himself World Champion (2009) by edging off one of the sbx scene`s super stars, Xavier de le Rue, to second crossing the finish line just a few inches ahead of the Frenchman.
A new man was born as Markus also started off an incredible series claiming back-to-back wins in Canada (Cypress and Stoneham) also adding another triumph in La Molina (ESP) to his belt.
But once again, another knee injury suffered already in Sunday River, USA, overshadowed his incredible season which was topped with the SBX World Cup title.
Luckily, Markus was able to fight back again during summer always having in mind his big goal of an Olympic medal at Vancouver 2010.
Everything looked good when the friendly and outgoing rider came back from his second injury break. In four World Cup races, he made it to the big finals twice when Austria’s hope for an Olympic medal was thrown back again at the X-Games.
Schairer went down hard in a horrible crash in his quarter finals suffering five fractured rips only two weeks before the major event in Vancouver took place. However, he managed to compete, disappointingly ending up 23rd.
But looking at his snowboard cross history, with all those setbacks being forced to handle at quite a young age, one thing was always sure: after a down comes an up!
And once again, the Vorarlberg rider made to the top of the world claiming Silver at the 2013 World Championships underlining that he is back to business, maybe stronger than before, right in time for Sochi 2014.