The Swiss ski cracks won nine medals at the World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo – more than since 1989. And yet at the end of the ski highlight of the year, the somewhat bitter realization remains: A lot more would have been possible.
For 32 years, Switzerland has not won as many medals at an Alpine World Ski Championships as in the last twelve days in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Swiss winter sports fans were able to cheer over precious metals nine times, and no other nation has won more medals. So we are finally back in ski racing where we have always belonged according to our self-image: at the top.
Nevertheless, there is no great euphoria in the country. In many places there was even a slight disappointment towards the end of the World Cup. But why is that so? The answer is simple. Because the expectations after the season so far had been almost indecently high and in the end much more would have been possible than these nine medals.
At first everything went according to plan: Lara Gut-Behrami and Corinne Suter’s double victory in the Super-G, Loic Meillard and Michelle Gisin’s combination medals, Suter and Gut doubling up as well as the “eternal” Beat Feuz, who was also in one Downhill, which was anything but tailored to him, still made it onto the podium.
But in the second week of the World Cup the big hangover came up. In the sportingly questionable parallel races, Switzerland lacked the slopes and hundredths of luck and in the technical competitions, apart from Gut-Behrami’s second world championship title, everything that could go wrong went to the pants.
Wendy Holdener was shattered at the self-imposed pressure and wept bitter tears at the end. For the first time since 2015, the woman from Schwyz went away empty-handed at a major event. Marco Odermatt paid the hardship for his mammoth program and had to leave Cortina with fourth place in the downhill as the best result. In the end, the slalom cracks realized that the other nations hadn’t slept and passed the Swiss.
The Austrians have also passed the Swiss in the medal table. Although the ÖSV athletes won one medal less than their competition from Swiss Ski, Switzerland’s ailing skiing superpower was back in the sun thanks to five gold medals. Thanks to Vincent Kriechmayr and Katharina Liensberger, who both achieved their best performance at the right time and, like Gut-Behrami, can call themselves double world champions.
The fact that the Austrians often had hundredths of luck on their side does not detract from the Swiss disappointment. Because in the end, the ski nation is primarily concerned with finally being in front of the Austrians again. And we missed that again in Cortina.
But we don’t want to quarrel for too long. After the race is after all before the race, as Sepp Herberger would have said if he had been a ski and not a football coach.
The ski season is far from over. In the World Cup there are still 22 races on the program and there is still a lot to be won. First of all, small crystal balls and large crystal balls: Beat Feuz, Lara Gut-Behrami and Corinne Suter could crown their season; Marco Odermatt, Ramon Zenhäusern, Wendy Holdener and Michelle Gisin are rehabilitating for the World Cup that did not go as planned.
The lead is 749 points. At the latest when Swiss Ski manages this tour, the slight World Cup frustration will be forgotten.
The status in the overall World Cup. bild: screenshot srf
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Comment World Ski Championships medals slight disappointment remains