The 2015/16 season ended abruptly for giant slalom specialist Sara Hector. In December 2015, she started with bib number #1 at the home World Cup in Åre but managed to race for just 30 seconds before sustaining a knee injury. Her season was over and a long rehab began. She did not return to the World Cup until 2017.
Two seasons after her injury, her goal is a solid performance at the home World Championships in Åre. The 10thplace finish at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang was not what she expected.
– I did not travel all the way there to finish 10th. When I was injured I was dreaming about returning to win Olympic gold but it was not even close. You aim to realize your dreams and achieve your goals but that was then and now I am here, looking onwards, said Hector.
This season’s main goal is obviously Åre 2019, which is a special place for Hector.
– I have had many first’s in Åre. My first World Cup start, my first World Cup podium, my first really bad injury, even my first kiss, I think. I have many memories from Åre.
Sara Hector has been looking forward to racing at Åre 2019 since the town was selected as host five years ago. She is hoping to see big crowds on site cheering for the Swedish team.
– It is freaking cool. I think I will have lots of friends and family on-site. It is a dream to be able to experience that.
After her 15th place finish at the slalom opening in Levi, Hector now wants to be in top form in Åre which has been her home since last Fall. Being able to race for medals on slopes that have a special meaning for yourself is something that few get to experience, noted Hector.
– Not many have a chance to be in the spotlight in that way, it’s cool. If you can exude joy and spread energy back to the people while providing them with a fantastic experience, it will be magic. I believe in magic!
Sara Hector in a nutshell
Born: 4 September 1992, in Sandviken
Ski Club: Kungsbergets AK
Lives: Stockholm and has just bought a house in Åre where she will live for about half of the time
World Cup Debut: 2009 (Åre)
First World Cup win: 28 December 2014, in Kühtai, Austria
First World Cup podium: 12 December 2014, in Åre