Born : 24 November 1984
Country : GER
Zodiac sign : Sagittarius
Several years ago, Maria Hoefl-Riesch already confirmed her enormous potential, having taken the World Cup titles in Super-G and Super-combined and claimed a more-than-satisfactory third-place finish in the overall standings at the end of the 2007/08 winter. One season later, she showed overwhelming dominance in slalom clinching both the FIS gold medal at Val d’Isère and the slalom crystal cup at Are, Sweden, finishing second overall that year.
A prodigious talent as a junior between 2001 and 2003, where she won seven medals in all disciplines at the junior World Championships including three golden in combined and Super-G, the Garmisch-Partenkirchen native was without doubt one of the rising stars to watch on the scene.
Lofty predictions were made on the back of her promising success in the 2002 Europacup overall standings and it seemed only a matter of time before she would become the dominant force in the sport. Her stellar climb continued as the careers of German legends Martina Ertl-Renz and Hilde Gerg began to fade.
A promising debut season in 2003, at the age of 18, resulted in an impressive fifth-place-finish in combined at the FIS Worlds in St. Moritz – the best of her squad in those medal events. A new team leader was truly raising in the 2004 season as she opened the season by recording the best training times at Lake Louise, in Canada, prior gaining a credible top-ten placing in the downhill and a 12th spot in the Super G.
Those promising results were but the forerunner to a return to the happy-hunting ground of St. Moritz, a few days before Christmas when she reached her first World Cup podium finishing 3rd in a high-quality downhill field. Yet better was to follow a month later when she took second place in the demanding Super-G race at Cortina d'Ampezzo after having also clocked the fastest time in training.
Everything finally came together later on at Haus im Ennstal, in Austria, in her first major breakthrough at the top-level when she dominated all her rivals to finish first in downhill and then sharing victory in Super-G with France’s Carole Montillet. Still technically a junior, she ran rough-shod over the opposition at the World Championships to stand proudly on top of the podium in the downhill and GS at Maribor, Slovenia, before returning to the World Cup tour and win the second slalom at Levi, in Finland. Another second place in the Super-G in Sestriere, Italy brought the season to a very awarding conclusion! It had been a long time since a woman managed to excel in three different specialties during the same winter.
Unfortunately, two bad knee injuries first at Cortina d’Ampezzo in January 2005 and then Aspen, in December in November, preventing her from competing at the 2005 FIS Worlds in Bormio and then at the 2006 Torino Olympics. However, a single win at Lake Louise in December 2006 in her comeback season more than proved that she had not lost her great feeling for smooth, high speed turns. This encouraging performance helped her to wait for the beginning of the 2008 season to be more relaxed before fully getting back her determination as an all-rounder. “I don’t think about my injuries anymore and I am not worried when I’m skiing,” she said then. “I’m not scared at all anymore and so it’s nearly the same as four years before just that I’m four years older.”
And so it proved as the tour finally brought its just rewards for all her doubts and hard work in the 2008 season. A win at Cortina d'Ampezzo in the Super-G was followed by a third place at Sestriere in the same event. Her impressive consistency allowed her to soon enter the exclusive group of top-favorites for the overall World Cup standings alongside her great friend Lindsey Vonn and Austria's Nicole Hosp, the defending overall champion. She had to settle for 3rd overall in the end after enjoying another win in a Super-combined, this time at Whistler in Canada, on the site of the 2010 Olympics. This brought her globes in the individual Super-G and Super-combined standings.
2009 was just as impressive for the tall and graceful German. With Marlies Schild out for the season, Riesch took it upon herself to completely dominate the slalom discipline, winning four races in a row in the mid-season before her gutsy triumph at Val d'Isère after facing disappointing results in the other disciplines. Only Lindsey Vonn was able to keep up with her for a while on the World Cup circuit in slalom, but the Crystal Globe was a certainty before the final race of the season. Three globes in two seasons and that second place in the overall standings behind Vonn have definitely placed her amongst the top female athletes of her generation.
Maria, who first strapped on a pair of skies at the tender age of three, has still a lot to fight for in the coming seasons. The elegant German, who lives now with her husband Marcus in a cozy place at Kitzbuehel, in Tyrol, aims to keep on racing at least for two more seasons – eventually three if she still feels hungry for more FIS medals at Beaver Creek, Colorado. Her downhill win in February 2012 at Krasnaya Polyana, on the challenging Olympic course of the 2014 Winter Games, strongly boosted her moral as well as her following slalom triumphs at Are in March and then at Levi, early November 2012. During the summer, Maria also contributed to produce an interesting book on her life as a racer.
A true fighter who trains very hard during the off-season, Maria Hoefl-Riesch is particularly motivated and fast when she fighting back after complicated times. It may be the case again this winter…
|MY WEB PAGE||www.maria.com.de|
|OLYMPIC GAMES||GOLD||SL||WHISTLER CREEKSIDE 2010|
|OLYMPIC GAMES||10th||GS||WHISTLER CREEKSIDE 2010|
|OLYMPIC GAMES||8th||SG||WHISTLER CREEKSIDE 2010|
|WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP||9th||GS||SCHLADMING 2013|
|WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP||BRONZE||DH||SCHLADMING 2013|
|WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP||GOLD||SC||SCHLADMING 2013|
|WORLD CUP||7th||SL||LENZERHEIDE 2013|
|WORLD CUP||16th||GS||OFTERSCHWANG 2013|
|WORLD CUP||2nd||SG||GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN 2013|
|JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP||1st||GS||MARIBOR 2004|
|JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP||1st||DH||MARIBOR 2004|
|JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP||3rd||GS||SERRE CHEVALIER 2003|
|01-01-2013||CE||City Event Munich||GER||9||15.00|