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Alpine skiing king Marcel Hirscher announces retirement

05 Sep 2019, 03:53 ( 18 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Marcel Hirscher of Austria celebrates winning after the men's slalom race of FIS Ski World Cup Snow Queen Trophy 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia, Jan. 6, 2019. File Photo Xinhua.

Eight-time overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher announced his retirement Wednesday evening in Salzburg.

   "Today is the day I'll end my active career," said Hirscher at a news conference titled "Review, insight, preview".

   "There are several reasons, and the decision was made two weeks ago," the Alpine ski star said about his farewell.

   "I'm incredibly lucky to be able to sit here with two healthy knees," he said. "I want to play soccer with my kid, ride motocross, and I'm glad I can do it now, and I'm fortunate to be healthy and survive my career without major injury."

   The 30-year-old Salzburger, arguably one of the best alpine skiers in history, has won numerous accolades in his career, including eight consecutive World Cup titles, seven world championships and two gold medals at the 2018 Olympics Winter Games.

   "If you stop now, at the peak of your career, I can understand that," said President Alexander Van der Bellen in a televised message. "Thank you for the excitement and joy that you have given to all of us, to Austria."

   Hirscher married his longtime girlfriend, Laura Moisl, last June and the couple welcomed their first child, a boy, into the world in October.

   According to a large survey on KURIER.at, Hirscher is Austria's greatest athlete, followed by the late F1 legend Niki Lauda and Hermann Maier, another alpine skiing champion and Olympic gold medallist nicknamed the "Herminator".