Inside the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships
No country experienced more success at the 2015 World Championships than Austria. The skiing powerhouse collected nine medals during the two weeks of competition, but it was the missed opportunities and conditions on the final day that no Austrian will soon forget.
France’s Jean-Baptiste Grange trailed the first-run leader and race favorite, Austria’s Marcel Hirsher, by .88 seconds and was skiing into heavy snow on a course in which he’d blown out his knee in 2009.
At the end of the day, Grange was the Slalom world champion. The 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships concluded with a dramatic last run in which Hirsher began with the lead but failed to finish after straddling a gate near the end of the course. Hirscher’s DNF was a major surprise as the Austrian seemed to be on top of his game; he’d won gold in the Super Combined and Team Event while earning silver in the Giant Slalom.
The consummate professional though was not about to make excuese. “Others had no problem with it,” Hirscher said of the conditions. “So it’s always your fault if you ski out.”
Even if another gold slipped through Hirscher’s hands on the powder-riddled Birds of Prey course he was happy with his performance during the championships, “In general, it was a super good world championships for me,” Hirscher said. “Way more than we were expecting before worlds.”