Steffi Köhle makes dream start to the World Cup
The perfect first day: Volkl pro Steffi Köhle (AUT) skied to a third place finish at the season opener in Sölden, earning the first World Cup podium of her career.
After the first run of the giant slalom the congenial Tyrol native was back in 11th place. "Because of the poor visibility there was a long period during which it wasn't clear whether there'd be a second run at all. I was hoping there would, because I wanted to see if I could make all my hard work pay off here. I'd had a good feeling during the first run and absolutely wanted to see if I could deliver on the second," Köhle said.
And she did: her dream run — literally flying blind, Steffi Köhle confirmed — catapulted her to the top of the rankings. In the finish area of the Rettenbachfern slope she was met with boundless jubilation by her entourage of fans, 140 men and women in all. The final two racers, Tina Maze and Kathrin Zettel, were ultimately the only ones able to dislodge her from the top spot.
But Köhle's joy was not to be dampened. All the more so because her World Cup debut had come precisely five years ago on this same course. She managed a 24th place finish that day, earning points in her first competition.
Steffi Köhle: "I'm super happy with the new equipment from Volkl and feel very comfortable on it. The preparations went very smoothly, not least because for the first time I'm not doing physical therapy or recuperating from an injury. Skiing is really a joy for me and you can see the things that attitude makes possible."