Marcel Hirscher announces comeback aspirations five years after retirement, will ski as Dutchman at Alpine Skiing World Cup 2024-25

Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Men
Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Men's Giant Slalom and Women's Slalom

Alpine skiing legend Marcel Hirscher has announced that he is planning to make a comeback at the 2024-25 World Cup later this year. However, the Austrian will be making a comeback in Dutch colors.

Hirscher, a two-time Olympic champion, is regarded as one of the greatest skiers to come out of Austria. After making his World Cup debut in 2007, the 35-year-old retired in 2019 with a record eight overall World Cup titles.

Hirscher was born to an Austrian father and a Dutch mother in 1989 and has both nationalities. He will now compete from his mother's country as announced by the Dutch Ski Federation on Wednesday 24th April.

Weighing in on the reasons behind his comeback aspirations, Hirscher noted that he wanted to return just because he liked it.

“I want to be able to compete again because that is what I like. This new project is realised as a Dutchman”, the 8x World Cup expressed (as quoted by Dutch Ski Federation).

On the other hand, the Austrian Ski Federation expressed their disappointment with Marcel Hirscher’s move to the Netherlands. However, it added that the organization eventually supported his decision owing to the ‘enormous’ glories Hirscher has brought for Austrian alpine skiing.

"We have of course tried very hard to offer Marcel the best possible and individual conditions in the event of a return to alpine racing," (via Austrian winter sports federation).

Changing the country will allow Hirscher to compete on Van Deer Skis, the brand he helped create with Redbull, which wouldn't have been possible while representing Austria since the Austrian Federation hasn't approved its use yet.

Marcel Hirscher’s road to return to FIS Ski World Cup 2024-25

Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Men's Downhill
Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Men's Downhill

According to Patrick Riml, the director of Red Bull's ski racing, Marcel Hirscher is planning to compete in lower-level races in New Zealand in August this year. The 2x Olympic gold medalist aims to secure the required points there to qualify for the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.

Speaking to Associated Press, Riml revealed that Hirscher's main aim was to compete at the World Championships next season, which are scheduled in February 2025 in Saalbach-Hinterglemm, Austria.

"He’s been training the whole season. He’s been on snow pretty much every day of the winter testing his equipment,” Riml said.

The Red Bull ski racing director also added that Marcel Hirscher was looking to compete in both slalom and giant slalom events when he makes the much-awaited return later this year.

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