GETTING TO KNOW: MARKUS SALCHER
Born with one side of his body paralyzed, yet on skis by age three – and how! Markus Salcher, who joined the Austrian national disabled team during the 2010/11 season, has just delivered the best season in his young career. The 20-year-old Völkl skier can celebrate his first World Cup victory and overall victory at the Europa Cup.
It was always his dream – and this season it became reality: In January 2012 Markus Salcher of Klagenfurt, Austria, finally left the world's elite in his tracks and seized his first World Cup victory. The GS title for the student majoring in sport came in Arta Terme (Zoncolan, Italy). After numerous successes at the Europa Cup, this was his first win in the 'big leagues'. What followed was a surprising World Cup season, with Panorama, Canada serving as a personal highlight. "Things didn't start off quite as planned at the overseas race in Winter Park, Colorado. I was only marginally satisfied with my fourth and seventh place finishes in the Super G, since in the Europa Cup races I'd always managed to get on the podium for speed events and I knew that the underlying speed was there. But then everything broke right: In the two Super G races at Panorama I picked up World Cup victories two and three." In the end the Austrian native finished second in the overall Super G World Cup rankings and seventh in the overall World Cup standings.
That's topped only by Salcher's results for the 2011/12 Europa Cup, where he easily took home the overall points title. This season brought another special first: his first win at a Europa Cup downhill for disabled athletes. "That is the mother of all disciplines! Following good training sessions at Innerkrems I then traveled to Tignes and won both downhill events there, and took second place in the super-combined. Naturally you have to accept a certain level of risk if you want to win the prestige races."
And that’s not all: At the Austrian Championships Markus Salcher became the national champion for Super G and runner-up in giant slalom and the super-combined.
>> You can't help but cheer him on