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Gravity: A round-up of this season's alpine skiing World Cup winners and losers


Gravity: A round-up of this season's alpine skiing World Cup winners and losers


For the first time in 12 years, Austria celebrated a double victory in the Alpine Skiing World Cup thanks to Marcel Hirscher and Anna Fenninger who ended the season on a high.

Welcome to Gravity in which Bruno Sousa takes us through the winners and losers of the season.

Marcel Hirscher started the season with the challenge of becoming the first man in over 30 years to win the World Cup title three years in a row and he didn’t disappoint.

He didn’t win as many races as he did for the 2012 and 2013 title winning seasons, only five victories this time, but it proved enough.

It was his consistency that earned him his third consecutive crystal globe.

In 21 events, he finished 16 times in the top 5.

The Austrian finished the season with a victory in the slalom at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Switzerland which also earned him the discipline’s small crystal globe, just like last year.

He could have also won the giant slalom crown but despite finishing with the same number of points as Ted Ligety, it was the American who emerged victorious after amassing more race wins.

In the womens competition, Anna Fenninger enjoyed a dream 2014, becoming the fourth different skier to grab the overall title in the last four years.

At the start of the season she wasn’t exactly among the favourites but just like Hirscher, her consistency paid dividends.

Only four race wins were enough. A huge contrast with Lara Gut’s seven victories, but that didn’t get the Swiss racer further than the third place in the overall standings.

Also like Hirscher, Fenninger finished the season on a high at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide.

She won the giant slalom which also secured her the small crystal globe. A perfect ending for a magical year, which also included the Olympic gold in the super-G.

The 24-year-old is finally living up to her early potential that saw her win three gold medals at the junior world championships.

Not everybody fulfilled their potential this season, though. Maria Hoefl Riesch was unable to take advantage of the absence of principal rival, Lindsey Vonn, who took part in four events before once again injuring her right knee.

As for the German, she reached the final stop of the season in Lenzerheide as World cup leader, but blew her title chances on the first day after suffering a shoulder injury in a crash during the downhill.

In the men’s event, there was a similar scenario.

Aksel Lund Svindal, in search of his third crystal globe, also arrived at the Swiss resort as World Cup leader.

He was far from his best in his speciality speed events and put himself at the mercy of Hirscher, who excels in the technical disciplines.

Taking risks in order to minimize the damage, Svindal made a costly error in the giant slalom which allowed his Austrian rival to begin his title-winning celebrations.

Ligety, on the other hand, made no mistakes in the giant slalom and showed once again he has no serious rivals in the discipline.

He won five out of eight events to lock down the small globe for the fifth time in the last seven years.

It was a fine season for the reigning double world champion, who last month in Sochi, added the only title missing from his giant slalom CV when he won Olympic gold.

However, his hunger for success didn’t start and finish with his favourite discipline.

In 2014 he added another event to his portfolio taking the combined World Cup crown.

If Ligety is the dominating force in the men’s giant slalom, in the women’s competition, Mikaela Shiffrin is fast becoming one of the greatest slalom skiers of all time.

The Colorado-native won five races and repeated last year’s feat of winning the slalom world cup title.

In Sochi, she underlined her status as the best by winning the Olympic gold medal, another title to add to the gold medal she won at last year’s world championships.

It’s quite the achievement for a skier that only last week celebrated her 19th birthday.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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