Austrian skier Marcel Hirscher is making history in PyeongChang as he collected his second gold medal in slalom with an official record of 2 minutes, 18.04 seconds.
Prior to the Winter Games in South Korea, the 28-year-old has never won an Olympic gold.
On Sunday, he followed his gold medal performance at the men’s alpine combined skiing with another victory as he warded off Norway’s Henrik Kristoffersen who finished 1.27 seconds behind him.
France’s Alexis Pinturaultance finished 1.31 behind Hirscher.
Hirscher, however, was the odds-on favorite to win the medal in PyeongChang and he was feeling the pressure, especially after seeing Kristoffersen coming in fast behind him.
“I had no choice, I knew I have to give 100% and I have to go into this battle,” Hirscher said.
The Austrian also reflected on his last Olympics, which he considered as journeys unto themselves.
“The first Olympics, they were not so successful. I mean, finishing fourth and fifth, it was OK,” he said. “The next Olympics, in Sochi, second and fourth place. So a lot of fourth place. And now, I think it pays off.”
Despite not winning gold before this Olympics, Hirscher already earned the respect of his peers.
For instance, Kristoffersen said that the Austrian is in his own league.
Norway Kjetil Jansrud, meanwhile, said that he always gauge where he is as a skier with Hirscher, and that’s why he always want to beat the two-time gold medal winner. In the same vein, the five-time Olympic winner couldn’t help but feel blessed because he’s skiing at a time when the competition is very stiff.
But Pinturault took it even further when he declared Hirscher as “the best ever.”
“You just have to see his career. He’s beaten everybody now,” the Frenchman added.
The Australian skier has a chance to win his third gold at the slalom this Thursday.