Mario Matt will always remember the 23rd January 2000, for this was the day the former ski racer triumphed in the Slalom on the Ganslernhang in Kitzbühel.
“Incredible, a dream come true, I still can’t believe it”
...the Tyrolean racer commented at the time. Matt’s strongest discipline was – you guessed it – the Slalom: he won the 2014 Sotchi Olympics in that very discipline. What is more, he secured a further two gold medals in the Slalom – one at the 2001 alpine ski world championships in St. Anton, and one in Åre in 2007.
As cruel irony would have it, Matt injured his shoulder in the Kitzbühel Slalom in January 2002 and had to be taken to Innsbruck for an operation. Three years later, however, he was able to make his peace with the course again and came second. In December 2013, the athlete celebrated his 15th World Cup victory in Val-d’Isère. At the time he was 34 years old, making him the oldest ski racer to date to win a World Cup Slalom. He’s also the oldest Olympic champion in alpine ski racing. In 2015 the athlete ended his active racing career. Matt is well known for his stooped posture while skiing and was one of the tallest Slalom racers at 190cm. Nevertheless, the now 38-year-old ex-racer was always described as a dynamic and agile skier.
Matt was born into a very athletic family: his younger brother, Michael Matt, is celebrating successes as a Slalom racer and his second brother, Andreas Matt, is a former ski cross athlete.
Photo © K.S.C.