In the final day of the competition, Austria truly hit back at any doubters. Throughout the event the Alpine giants have been a little disappointing, narrowly missing out in many disciplines where their athletes have been considered the favourites.
But in the last event, in what has been an exceptional World Championships, Austria took not just gold but silver and bronze too! Producing a clean sweep in the men’s slalom, much to the pleasure of their traveling fans.
It was slalom king Marcel Hirscher who took gold by quite some margin, 0.65 of a second to be precise. Having been the dominant force all season this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the way Hirscher set himself apart from the field will come as a blow for his competitors.
Alexis Pinturault was unable to secure a podium finish after his positive first run. The Frenchman was closest to Hirscher after heat one, but a mistake in the second run meant he finished in fourth place. The save from Pinturault was incredible given where he slipped, but it wasn’t enough to salvage a podium.
It was Michael Matt and Marco Schwarz who completed Austria’s podium lineup, finishing second and third respectively.
After the event, a slightly flat Marcel Hirscher (who has been suffering with a cold) reflected on the race and Åre 2019, “I’m beat. But, please believe me, I’m really super happy for these two medals and it means a lot to me because I’m getting older and everyone expects me to be better and better so it’s good to stay this course”.
He also thanked all the crew at Åre 2019, “The mixed conditions meant a lot of work so thank you, I think everything worked out perfectly. The positive thing about negative stuff is that you forget it. From Åre 2019 I will remember having a cold, but the rest is all warm memories!”.
The podium standings were as followed:
- HIRSCHER Marcel (AUS)
- MATT Micheal (AUS)
- SCHWARZ Marco (AUS)
And with this comes the end of Åre 2019, the weather has challenged proceedings more than once throughout the World Championships, but the event has been a success with both the athletes and fans. Overall it was Switzerland and Norway who tied for top spot in the medal standings.
As we bid farewell to sporting legends such as Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Lund Svindal it is also time to look forward.
Climate change is becoming more of a threat to the future of skiing, so it is fantastic news to hear that this event has also been the most environmentally sustainable World Championships in history. The organisers had a wide range of measures in place to help reduce the carbon footprint of the event, such as using Audi E-Tron electric cars for transportation around the competition village.
Åre 2019 in Numbers
- 102,000 attendance at the races,
- 34,000 attendance at the medal plaza,
- 75 nations (more than any other previous competition),
- 471 athletes,
- 915 officials,
- 1439 volunteers from 38 countries,
The 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships take part in Cortina Italy from the 8th to 21st February. If the event has inspired you to visit Åre why not check out our resort guide!