Maze achieves greatness with victory in Garmisch Downhill

Tina Maze achieved greatness that few believed would be possible at the beginning of the season. Not even Tina Maze at the beginning of the season felt that scoring over 2000 points in a season was possible. Maze won the downhill to achieve another incredible feat in that she has now won in all five disciplines in the same season: She is only the third racer to do that in history and the first since Janica Kostelic, Bode Miller is the only male to complete the full set in a season. Maze has also surpassed the 2000 point mark that Hermann Maier set in the year 2000. In the race itself, Laurenne Ross gave the Americans some cheer after Alice McKennis had been airlifted off and Maria Hoefl-Riesch took third.

For Maze the superlatives get greater and greater. When she won the opening race of the season in Soelden back in October, this was the start of a season that has now reaped the Overall Globe, the Giant Slalom Globe and she is in the running for the Downhill, the Super G and has an outside chance of the Slalom as well. Thirteen years ago when Hermann Maier won the Overall and three other Globes, she was happy and amazed like the rest of the skiing world she admitted after the race. To complete the feat in this race, with seven races still to go of the season, is an astonishing fact. When asked what she now wants to accomplish, she thought and politely replied “To just keep improving my skiing.” Maze is an astonishing athlete.

Maze was a class above the rest of the field in this race: where she carved the bug turns, the rest made little errors and did not have a smooth line. Where Maze was graceful in the air, others struggled. This was a well deserved and brilliant win for the Slovenian.

Laurenne Ross came down as the results were being read out and bumped home town girl, Maria Hoefl-Riesch down to third and pushed Lara Gut off the podium. This was the American’s first podium on the World Cup and she has become the sixth American to podium on the World Cup this season. Three of the six have podiumed for the first time this season!

The wait for her 25th World Cup win gie son for Maria Hoefl-Riesch. The girl who grew up in Garmisch-Partenkirchen would dearly love to add the win to her success list in Garmisch and she was on course to challenge the time that Maze had set but made a mistake on the lower jump that cost her time she admitted. At the finish, she was half a second back on the Slovenian but was still happy to be on the podium. At the top of the course, Hoefl-Riesch was well placed but a small error in the line taking off the jump cost her time lower down, she felt. “I skied well from the top to the bottom and this was nevertheless a good race for me,” explained Hoefl-Riesch after the race. “I was good in the first technical section, I found some good speed and built on this,” Hoefl-Riesch then added that with the competition so strong this year, this was a good result.

The large crowd were patient as they saw the American Laurenne McKennis being airlifted off the course just above the finish. It was later revealed that she had suffered a fracture to her right tibial plateau as a result of the initially innocuous looking crash.

So while Ross and Hoefl-Riesch were delighted with their podiums, Maze felt that the importance of the 2000 point mark was something that the media had created. For her all she wants to do is ski well. Maze is making history with her skiing this year. Vonn come close last year to making the mark but Maze has well and truly beaten it this year – with races to spare. Next year is another year and has the Olympics and that is what all are now focusing on.

Full results