Kieran Norris promised in the finish area of the Kitzbuehel Slalom that he would finish the first run in Schladming. It was a daunting challenge: 45,000 Austrians (and some Brits and Irish fans in the crowd as well) had lined the hill and at that stage of the night, they were worried about the state of Austrian Slalom racing – no Austrian was in the top 20 finishers of the first run and the great ‘God’ of Austrian skiing, Marcel Hirscher was down in 22st place after a mix-up with his goggles – you could not make it up!
Norris was last off of all the racers. This was his second World Cup race ever. After the rolls of Kitzbuehel, the sheer steepness of Schladming is another thing. Dave Ryding and Tristan Glasse-Davies gave Norris and his coach, Marc Telling help on the hill to ease the amount of information coming at the two of them.
After the run, Norris reflected on the whole experience: “Schladming was an awesome event to be a part of. I skied reasonably well apart from having a big mistake on the top section, and I made sure I was going to get to the finish. It was certainly different skiing down with such a big crowd. It was very challenging skiing at the end on a rutted course but well worth it for the experience.
“I’d like to thank all the people that were in schladming supporting Dave and I, and my sponsors Head ski, Sub sports and purebody health.”
Asked whether his smile has subsided yet and Norris responded: “No, I think I will be smiling until next year when I hope to do it again and improve on this year’s result!”