SALZBURG, AUSTRIA (SEPTEMBER 4, 2019) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - NO USE AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, 2019. NO ARCHIVE. NO USE ON YOUTUBE. NO RESALES)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (German) EIGHT-TIME WORLD CUP WINNER, MARCEL HIRSCHER, SAYING:
"It is not a major surprise anymore, today is the day on which I will end my active career as a ski racer. It is going to be better and easier for me and this is a very good first step."
2. (SOUNDBITE) (German) EIGHT-TIME WORLD CUP WINNER, MARCEL HIRSCHER, SAYING:
"The last two weeks were of course a bit turbulent, but I felt there were many reasons. It was a sum of many, in fact, that made me make this decision. Imagine, I am not just switching jobs, I am changing my entire life and ending a life overnight. If you ask me what the future will bring, how I am going to do... it is very exciting. But as I said, there were many, many reasons which led me to this decision, brought me to where I am today and it feels good."
STORY: Austria's Marcel Hirscher, one of the greatest ever Alpine skiers who won a record eighth consecutive overall World Cup title this year, announced his retirement on Wednesday (September 4), confirming what had become an open secret in the sport.
Hirscher, 30, a household name in ski-mad Austria, has dominated slalom and giant slalom for years but has also made no secret of the strain he has felt from travelling on the world circuit and the competitive pressure from younger skiers.
Hirscher won 67 World Cup races, the second highest in history and 19 short of the record held by Sweden's Ingemar Stenmark, and not even a broken ankle at the start of the 2017-18 season could interrupt his run of titles.
Despite his World Cup dominance, Hirscher had to wait until Pyeongchang last year to collect his first Olympic gold medals when he won the giant slalom and combined races.
(Production: Stefan Haskins)