HomeSportsAlpine skiing: Marcel Hirscher to end retirement and compete for the Netherlands

Alpine skiing: Marcel Hirscher to end retirement and compete for the Netherlands


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Alpine skiing legend Marcel Hirscher is planning a comeback to competition after five years of retirement.

The unexpected move by the Austrian two-time Olympic champion was made even more surprising after it was revealed he would do it competing for the Netherlands – his mother’s home country – instead of his native Austria.

“I want to be able to compete again because that is what I like. This new project is realised as a Dutchman,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying by the Dutch Ski Federation on Wednesday (24 April).

The Austrian Ski Federation expressed its disappointment regarding Hirscher’s decision.

“We have of course tried to offer Marcel the best possible and individual conditions in the event of a return to alpine racing,” it said in a statement.

“Of course, we very much regret his decision to switch to the Dutch Ski Association, but in the end we supported it. Marcel’s achievements for the sport and the Austrian federation have been enormous.”

Hirscher was born in 1989 to an Austrian father and a Dutch mother and holds both nationalities. He represented Austria throughout his career before retiring in 2019 as one of the most successful skiers the country has ever produced.

His long list of conquests includes winning a record number of eight overall World Cups, 67 World Cup victories, five world titles and three Olympic medals: two gold and one silver.

Hardly known for his alpine skiing with its distinct lack of mountainous terrain, the Dutch Ski Federation has expressed its delight at having Hirscher on board.

“We are delighted with Marcel’s choice and hope that this will be of great value for not only skiing, but all snow sports that fall under the NSkiV,” technical director Wopke de Vegt said.

Hirscher will now focus on preparations for the upcoming 2024/25 season.

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