Alpine skiing: Big crystal ball arrives early in Odermatt: “Everything is perfect”

There is hardly anything that Marco Odermatt can't do.

Alpine skiing: Big crystal ball arrives early in Odermatt: “Everything is perfect”

There is hardly anything that Marco Odermatt can't do. Perhaps the best way to embarrass today's best ski racer is to come up with new superlatives for his own performances, victories and records in the Alpine World Cup. In any case, the Swiss can't cope with snow at the moment.

“Everything is perfect at the moment,” said Odermatt after his victory in the giant slalom in Palisades Tahoe, which also makes winning the overall World Cup ranking mathematically perfect. For weeks no one had doubted that the Swiss would have a hat trick after 2022 and 2023 - also because of the injury-related absences of rivals such as Marco Schwarz (Austria) and Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (Norway).

Ten giant slalom victories in a row

When the 26-year-old celebrated in the ski resort in California, where the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics took place in 1960, his grin seemed a little wider than usual in the North American sun. In 2023, he had one in Palisades for the last time to date He didn't win the World Cup giant slalom - after that he was unbeatable ten times in a row and also outpaced the competition in other disciplines.

A few numbers as proof of Odermatt's special position in the current ski world:

- With 1,702 points, he is 1,001 points ahead of Manuel Feller from Austria in the overall ranking after the Palisades giant slalom, which he cannot catch up with in the remaining ten races of the season.

- The points record of 2042 from the previous season, held by Odermatt himself, can fall with five more starts.

- It is very likely that the athlete from the canton of Nidwalden will end the season with a record lead over the runner-up - the previous record is held by Hermann Maier from the spring of 2001 (743).

- Odermatt could also catch up with or overtake the Austrian ski hero in other statistics: Maier is so far the only racer to have won four crystal balls in one season (2000/01) - in addition to the overall ranking, Odermatt is currently also in the rankings for giant slalom, Super-G and downhill in front.

- Maier also holds the men's record of 13 wins in a season together with his compatriot Marcel Hirscher and Sweden's icon Ingemar Stenmark - Odermatt already has eleven wins.

- Speaking of Stenmark: He once won 14 giant slaloms in a row and set a supposed record for eternity. Odermatt currently has ten successes in a row in the discipline.

What sets the Swiss apart is his unique feel for the snow and the fast line. These characteristics also allow him to defy unexpected resistance. On Saturday, for example, veteran Henrik Kristoffersen showed a fabulous run in the second round and could already feel like he had conquered Odermatt. In the finish, however, the favorite found two or three turns, thanks to which he saved a lead of 0.12 seconds.

Fast and sociable

“Marco is on a tremendous run,” admitted the Norwegian. "We wanted to finish this one, it was close today. That's life, he's a great skier." The US rider River Radamus came third.

Odermatt is also sociable and a team player. Unlike other exceptional athletes such as Hirscher, who fought his way from victory to victory with a private team, the Swiss has good friends in the team and was recently even partying in a bar in Kitzbühel with the French double winner Cyprien Sarrazin - shirtless behind the bar. “It’s just a lot of fun,” summed up the series winner.