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Hofmeister happy to be the ‘hunted one’ during glorious, dominant season

Mar 29, 2024·Alpine Snowboard
Ramona Theresia Hofmeister © Miha Matavz/FIS
Ramona Theresia Hofmeister © Miha Matavz/FIS

Time and time again this season on the women’s FIS Snowboard Alpine World Cup tour, one athlete appeared on the top step of the podium. Ramona Theresia Hofmeister (GER) dominated the season, claiming five victories and becoming the first woman since Patrizia Kummer in 2014 to sweep all three crystal globes. 

“To be able to do this as a second woman is incredible and means a lot to me,” Hofmeister said. “This is a little piece of history in snowboarding. Especially because I’m the first German (to) do this.”

Hofmeister, who claimed bronze at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games six years ago, now has four overall titles, five PGS globes – all won consecutively – and her first PSL globe. This has truly been a campaign to remember for the 28-year-old.

“I would put this season at the top of my personal list, together with the 2018 Olympic medal,” Hofmeister said. “In my opinion the globes are worth more to me than any medal because it is a constant achievement that is recognised over the entire season or over several years. Like my PGS globes, for example.

“There have been five seasons in a row in which I was able to achieve consistent performance. At the Olympics it is just one day, one race.”

Hofmeister was the epitome of consistency this season. She came out winning the first three races of the campaign and led the overall standings from wire to wire. Sweeping the globes may have seemed far-fetched at the outset but, after her hot start, Hofmeister knew something special was in reach this time round.

“I always set goals before the season,” she said. “The first PSL globe has been on my bucket list for a long time. After half of the races I realised it was possible, even with the three globes.”

It was not always smooth sailing the Bavarian. She struggled through a rough stretch in late January with a lingering illness and missed the podium in three straight races. She had to drag herself through those events to get enough points to stay ahead of the field.

The bad cold was not the only adversity Hofmeister overcame. Week in and week out she had to fend off the competition, always gunning for her as the leader. But the target on her back that came with the yellow bib was no issue for the veteran.

“It doesn’t put any additional pressure on me but rather it makes me proud when I’m allowed to wear them,” Homeister said. “I like being the hunted one. It is a positive pressure and motivation.”

A few racers did get the better of Hofmeister at times. Two-sport athlete Ester Ledecka (CZE) spent most of the season competing on the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour. However, she returned to her first love of snowboarding for three races – and beat Hofmeister in all of them. Her years of experience showed no expiry date.

On the flip side there was one youngster who was never intimidated by the mighty German: the 20-year-old Tsubaki Miki (JPN) knocked Hofmeister out four times this season.

“Ester and Tsubaki are (two) of my hardest competitors,” Hofmeister said. “Both have an extreme will to win. When it comes to technical aspects, they bring a lot with them from skiing. It’s always fun to race against them and it gives me an extra push.”

Those losses were not enough to keep Hofmeister from claiming the titles and celebrating with her family in the end.

“My boyfriend organised a surprise party after the last World Cup,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it at all and was pretty tired from the trip. The whole living room was full of friends, family, neighbours. That was really cool, a lot of fun.”

There is still plenty to strive for despite winning it all this season. Hofmeister is already set on defending her titles next season and will be the favourite to win the World Championship in 2025. But first there is something much more important: playing with her German Shepherd puppy, Chili.

“Everything is so much fun with her – mountain climbing, running. Everything is much cooler when Chili is there. And you always get a warm welcome when you come home. It’s like a best friend,” Hofmeister said.

Chili will be by Hofmeister’s side as she enjoys her offseason of cycling, strength-training and making memories with family. And if Chili uses a crystal globe as a chew toy, at least Hofmeister has another two new ones.

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