The current ski season has started with a number of good results and World Cup podium finishes for the Swedes; the Ski Team Sweden Alpine is going strong. The team’s two stars, André Myhrer and Frida Hansdotter, each with Olympic gold medals in their back pockets, have been able to approach the start of the new season with a calm mind.
– Obviously, an Olympic gold is a dream come true. It was amazing to return home to such a lovely reception from the Swedish public. That’s what makes an Olympic gold double its value, said Hansdotter.
Reaching a goal after a long fight, countless hours of training and more than four years of preparation can also result in a sort of emptiness, said Myhrer, who had a rough time getting going this spring. What keeps him focused is an individual World Championships medal that is still missing from his long list of successes.
– The World Championships is what keeps you going even though I had some initial challenges and took quite a bit longer than what I have normally needed to get started with preparations for a new season. That’s also why I am in a better shape now than I have ever been. It feels great but it was not too easy to get there this time around, continued Myhrer.
Their greatest challengers for the top spot have started the season in dominant fashion. Mikaela Shiffrin appears unbeatable no matter the event, and with her career’s first super-G victory she is now the only ski racer in history to have won in all events, from downhill to parallel. The Austrian superstar Marcel Hirscher also continues to deliver race-after-race. However, with their triumphs at the PyeongChang 2018 Games still fresh in memory, the Swedish team leaders know that even the biggest stars are within reach, not least given the roaring support of the home crowds that they can count on.
– I love to race and that’s probably my greatest strength. I really seem to blossom when it comes to racing at major events. You want to succeed but you can only do your best. When I am at the start gate, I know that I will do my best and then it’s just a question of how far that takes me, said Hansdotter.
Anticipation has been growing since Åre won the right to host the 2019 World Championships – this winter season’s largest event – five years ago. Training, preparation, planning and organizational development on one hand, and expectation and joy on the other.
– I am very much looking forward to Åre 2019. It will be a highlight of the season and the culmination of my career. I’m hoping to be at the start there, ready to fight for medals and take revenge for 2007, said André Myhrer.