World Championships program
Watching the races in his living room, sleeping in his own bed and training on the pistes he has loved since he was a child: "People are always talking about the special pressure of a home World Championships and not about the invaluable advantages," says Marcel Hirscher. His World Championships program is a combination of "everyday life at home and three races in a unique atmosphere: "that's what drives me!" he explains.
Marcel Hirscher enjoys being at home, which is understandable for someone who is on the go for 200 days a year. "I'm at a major event, but still at home. You only get this lucky once in your career, if at all - and that's an advantage that outweighs all the other oft-quoted disadvantages," says Marcel. He believes that everything is naturally "taking place at a higher tempo" at this home World Championships, leading to "increased media presence and with it of course, greater expectations." However, he explains that in spite of this the team are "happy that there is so much emotion surrounding skiing."
EVERYDAY LIFE COUNTERBALANCES THE HYPE
Home World Championships or not, it is still essentially skiing. "And in Schladming it's nothing more than that," says Marcel, "three races and three chances; I simply block everything else out. And that's where perfectly ordinary everyday life is a tremendous help. While the atmosphere in Schladming is electric, I get on with my normal routine: in the morning I drink my cup of espresso and look out of the window. Then I get in my car and drive to training somewhere nearby. Then I go home and shower and we cook something. It's just like November. The PR events in Schladming make for another change," he continues, describing his everyday life during the World Championships so far.
"WE'RE PREPARED FOR EVERY SITUATION"
There is less peace and quiet in week two of the World Championships: "Tuesday is the team competition; Friday, the giant slalom; and Sunday, the slalom - I like that kind of race rhythm. Everything's in place, and the attention is always on the next race, the next run, the next gate." Marcel Hirscher believes that the proximity of Atomic's head office to the World Championships routes is a good logistical backup. However, he maintains that the team have prepared themselves extremely well for the World Championships: "There are no conditions that could take us by surprise," he says. "Even if it were extremely warm, which doesn't look likely, we have a pair of Redster boots, whose special blend of plastics compensates for temperatures above zero."
Is Marcel any more nervous than usual? "No! When I think about the race and the slope, then I automatically think about the night race and final last year. And then I realize that I only want one thing: to be at the starting line and give it everything I've got."