BELOW IS TAKEN FROM MY WEEKLY DIARY WITH THE DENVER POST AND JOHN MEYER ABOUT MY WORLD CUP EXPERIENCE ALONG WITH SOME OF MY PERSONAL PHOTOS FROM THE TWO WEEKS IN SCHALDMING.
Hard to Fathom Making History at World Ski Championships
SCHLADMING, Austria — I still can’t really fathom what happened to me at the world championships. I knew I had chances for medals in super-G and super combined, and I really wanted to win the gold medal in the giant slalom. To win three gold medals definitely exceeded my expectations, and it’s been a crazy wave to ride.
It’s really weird thinking that it hadn’t been done since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968. It’s hard to imagine somebody hasn’t done it in 45 years, and it was such a cool feeling to put it together the way I did.
After I won the third gold medal, the legendary Alberto Tomba spent some time with us and he was pretty taken aback, even saying it was something he couldn’t have done. It was cool having one of my childhood heroes talking about how neat my accomplishment was. That was special.
I knew it was possible for me to win medals in all three events. On the World Cup this season, I’ve been skiing so well in super-G, with two fourth-place finishes and a sixth place, and this hill was perfect for me in super-G. I knew it was a really good opportunity.
In combined, if I hadn’t lost a ski three gates from the finish line in Wengen last month, I would have been second there, so I knew I had a chance in combined at worlds. After the combined downhill — one of the best downhill runs I’ve had in a long time, beating a lot of the best downhill skiers in the world — I could ski tactically in the slalom rather than taking a lot of risks.
But going into the giant slalom with two gold medals, I felt a lot of pressure because defending my title from the 2011 world championships was my No. 1 goal. It was stressful because I hadn’t been able to train much GS while focusing on the super-G and combined. Plus Austrian coaches set the course for the first run, and I knew they would really try to mess with me, setting a course that would be disadvantageous for me and advantageous for my main rival in GS, Marcel Hirscher, on his home hill.
To go out and win the first run by more than a second, and then be able to ski smartly on the second run, it was really cool to be in that position.
With the Olympics less than a year away now, I know winning these three gold medals has made my summer far more busy than normal. It will be a really good opportunity to project myself beyond ski racing.
But I’m not doing ski racing to become famous. I do it because I love it and I’m competitive. That’s what drives me. I’m not looking to be on the cover of People magazine. My main focus is on ski racing, not the red carpet.
THE ARTICLE ABOVE WAS PUBLISHED ON MONDAY, BUT I STILL WANTED TO SHARE IT. THE PAST COUPLE DAYS I HAVE BEEN TAKEN SOME TIME OFF TO RECOVER AND RECHARGE AFTER WORLD CHAMPS, NOW I AM READY TO FINISH OFF THE REST OF THE SEASON STRONG.
DENVER POST DIARYS CAN BE FOUND BELOW ALONG WITH THE REST OF MY DIARYS WITH THEM: