It ends an important chapter in world-class slalom: Marlies Schild is retiring!
Yesterday morning the Austrian champion has announced the end of her career in a press conference in the Uniqa Tower in Vienna.
She gave some signals at the end of last season, when she expressed some doubts about racing again this season, but she also posted some pictures of her training in the gym, so her fan were hoping to see her again at the starting gate, if not in Soelden, at least in Levi. Hope was given also by her boyfriend’s, Benni Raich, announcement, saying that he is going to retire at the end of this season, so that he can try to qualify for the up coming World Championship in Vail – Beaver Creek 2015. He first Word Championship was in Vail in 1999, so he would be really glad to end his career right where his World Championship adventure started.
Unfortunately the most winning slalomist is retiring, announcing that, since she has relized all of her dreams as an athlete, she now wants to realize her other big dream, having a family and kids.
Not let’s travel again through the career of this ski icon to live again she gave us in her 13 years in the World Cup.
She started off in the World Cup on December 9th, 2001 in slalom in Sestriere, immediately gaining her first points arriving twenty-fifth. Her first podium, a third place, arrived in Aspen on November 30th, 2002 , while the first victory was achieved on March 13, 2004 in Sestriere.
Since then she has earned 37 victories, 35 in slalom, making her the most successful slalomist of all times, followed by Vreni Schneider with 34 victories, one in giant and one in combined. Ahe also gained 68 podiums.
In 2007 she came close to winning the overall World Cup, lost at the last race for ninety points, but she won four slalom cups and in combined.
She also won two gold medals in the World Championship, one in slalom in Garmisch – Partenkirchen and one in the team event in Åre; three silvers, two in slalom, Åre and St. Moritz, and one in the team event in Garmisch – Partenkirchen ; and two bronze medals, both in combined, one in Garmisch – Partenkirchen and one in Åre.
The only thing that is missing in Schild’s career is the Olympic gold , almost reached three times, in Turin, in combined , and Vancouver and Sochi, in slalom, where she got, however, three silvers. She also won the Olympic bronze medal in slalom in Turin.
Who will be the heir of the queen? Surely Mikaela Shiffrin, already widely affirmed by the victory of two slalom cup, the gold in Schladming World Championship and Olympic gold in Sochi, but also her younger sister Bernadette, she already shared the podium twice with in Courchevel and Kranjska Gora .
We just have to say goodbye to this great star in the firmament of the white circus and wish her all the best for the new chapter of her life.
I’ll also share with you the words written by Benni Raich on facebook saying goodbye, professionally, to his girlfriend: “Dear Marlies, you’ve had an insane career and I look forward to our future together. Benni”.