Christof Innerhofer‘s victory in Beaver Creek has brought back the attention on alpine skiing and has blown away the bad feelings that slowed him down over the past months. The back pains are still there, but the agility and the way he interpreted and dominated a tough and difficult Birds of Prey during his DH race brings back the “azzurro” (and the rest of the team – see Marsaglia, Heel and the others) to the top. Innerhofer won his second World Cup DH race in Colorado. The first? It was a spectacular undertaking, he won on the Stelvio on December 28, 2008. He was the first and only “azzurro” to do that. His success on the slope in Beaver Creek, one of the most difficult of the entire circuit, is very encouraging.
“I didn’t think I could achieve this impotant result but I must say that I was feeling much better in the past few days, lap after lap, and training after training. I knew I had to “feel my skis” and be confident on such technical slope. When I arrived at the start I said to myself, “Take all the risks, this is just one race, one of many more races.” So I did and now it feels like a dream, especially after what I’ve been through during the past 10 months.” These are the words Christof Innerhofer said to the FISI press office while in the parterre.
During the SG on Saturday, Innerhofer was among the best but a mistake dealing with the line brought a 17th position. Anyway, the “azzurro” is definitely back to the top in both disciplines.
Christof suffered from many back pains last summer; they were so severe that he was forced to miss the trip to South America. “The team helped a lot, as well as the many therapists and doctors who reduced my back pains. I want to dedicate my victory to all these people. I’ve been trying to improve day after day and without hurrying; I was aware I had to face it all little by little. My biggest fear dealing with the race and during the past few days was to be unable to demonstrate the improvements I felt but when I found myself on the slope I felt free, fast, solid and I had fun. You must have fun if you want to win, and today I had a ball.” Innerhofer added
He had a ball in Bormio too, a few years ago, when he enjoyed his first personal victory and broke the spell that was keeping the DH “azzurri” away from the first place on the Stelvio podium.
Next DH stop will be Gardena on December 15 and after a beautiful Christmas…be ready for Bormio!
(Credits – photos: Penthaphoto/FISI)