Globe number three and a private wish

Marco Odermatt won his eighth and ninth giant slaloms of the season and secured his next crystal globe in the USA. The thoughts expressed by the man from Nidwalden show that he remains “human” despite all his success.

Globe number three and a private wish

Even Marco Odermatt was left gasping for air at the finish line as the races in Aspen were exhausting. The four course settings on the Strawpile piste on Friday and Saturday really took their toll, as well as the start at 2880 meters above sea level and the finish at 2470 meters above sea level. But at the end of both giant slaloms in Aspen, the name on the trophy was the same as the previous ten in this discipline: Marco Odermatt.  

However, the man from Nidwalden didn't blow the competition away in the US state of Colorado. For once, the times recorded showed that things aren't always straightforward. Rather, it was clear that a victory requires a lot of work by the skier and their team, a high appetite for risk, and also a bit of luck sometimes. On both Friday and Saturday, Odermatt made mistakes that would have spelt the end for many other racers. But Odermatt was able to maintain his unbeaten record in the giant slalom thanks to his ability to adapt to a variety of situations and to set a great pace within sight of the finish line.  

Marco Odermatt also mathematically secured the crystal globe for the giant slalom by winning on Friday, which meant journalists could now turn their attention to other matters, such as the records that the Swiss man could break in the coming weeks. One more victory will see him improve on his personal record of 13 victories in one season, set in 2022/23. If he wins the World Cup giant slaloms in Bansko and Saalbach, Odermatt will set a perfect record in the giant slalom for this season, and he will also equal Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 14 victories in one season. He could also break the record for most World Cup points in one season.  

Marco Odermatt is always asked about statistics, records and success after his races. Standing at the start line without a care in the world is currently a fanciful dream for the man from Buochs. He said something quite remarkable to Austrian television on Friday: “It would be quite nice if these stats and figures weren’t being talked about because then I'd be able to race more relaxed again. The questions about sequences and records make it more difficult. But maybe that's what keeps pushing me to put on these performances.” And on Saturday, he doubled down with a secret wish: “Today, it occurred to me that it would be nice if all these sequences stopped so that I could race as normal again.”  

Despite Odermatt’s successes, it is important to note what Thomas Tumler is currently doing in the giant slalom. In the last four World Cup giant slalom races, the 34-year-old has finished eighth twice and fourth twice. This is the first time in his career that he has shown such top form. He would be fully deserving of making it onto the podium, with his only podium finish so far coming in Beaver Creek in 2018. He has two more chances to show what he can do this season: in Kranjska Gora and in the World Cup final in Saalbach.  

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