Marcel Hirscher, Austrian Skiing Legend, Considers Comeback for Netherlands

Legendary Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher considers comeback, plans to represent the Netherlands in 2024-25 World Cup season, sparking excitement in the skiing community.

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Marcel Hirscher, Austrian Skiing Legend, Considers Comeback for Netherlands

Marcel Hirscher, Austrian Skiing Legend, Considers Comeback for Netherlands

Marcel Hirscher, the Austrian skiing legend who dominated alpine ski racing for nearly a decade, is considering a comeback to competitive skiing, according to fellow skier Felix Neureuther. Hirscher, who retired in 2019 after winning an unprecedented eight consecutive Overall World Cup titles, now plans to re-enter ski racing for his mother's native country, the Netherlands, where he holds dual citizenship.

The Dutch Ski Association (NSkiV) expressed delight at Hirscher's choice, noting that he will bring his wealth of knowledge and experience to the Dutch team. The Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV) had hoped Hirscher would make his comeback for Austria, but they have supported his decision to change his FIS license to the Netherlands. Hirscher's ski brand, VAN DEER, which he founded after retiring, is connected to his Dutch family ties and will be part of his comeback.

To return to the World Cup, Hirscher will need to work his way up through FIS races and meet the qualification standards. He plans to enter lower-level FIS races in New Zealand in August to earn the necessary points. Hirscher's main objective is to compete at the 2024-25 world championships in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria.

Why this matters: Hirscher's potential return has sparked great international interest in alpine ski racing. As a global skiing superstar with 67 World Cup race wins, his comeback could provide a significant boost to the sport, particularly in the Netherlands, which has had limited success in skiing at the elite level.

The news of Hirscher's potential comeback has generated enthusiasm among fans and fellow skiers. Norwegian skier Lucas Braathen expressed his anticipation at the opportunity to compete against Hirscher, even hinting at the possibility of training with him. Hirscher's longtime friend and fellow skier Felix Neureuther believes that if anyone can make a successful comeback, it would be Hirscher, known for his exceptional skills and achievements in the sport.

Hirscher explained his decision in a video message, stating, "The joy of skiing has never gone away and I am looking forward to the opportunity to race again, especially to support my Van Deer-Red Bull Sports brand and teammates." The response to Hirscher's announcement has been overwhelmingly positive, with skiing greats like Lindsey Vonn and Travis Ganong expressing their excitement and support for his return to the sport.

Key Takeaways

  • Skiing legend Marcel Hirscher considering comeback, will represent Netherlands
  • Hirscher plans to compete in lower-level FIS races in New Zealand in August
  • Aims to compete at 2024-25 world championships in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria
  • Comeback sparks international interest, fellow skiers express enthusiasm
  • Hirscher cites joy of skiing, support for his brand as reasons for return