Winter Games Athletes
Hoefl-Riesch heads to Sochi as the defending Olympic gold medalist in slalom and super-combined, and she’s also considered one of the favorites in downhill. As one of the top all-around skiers in the world, she has been one of the sport’s most consistent athletes since 2008, with top-3 finishes in the overall World Cup standings in six straight seasons. That’s unlikely to change in 2014. With three victories this season, all in downhill, Hoefl-Riesch finds herself at the top of the 2014 overall standings heading into the Winter Games. She now has 27 career victories on the World Cup circuit with two season victories in slalom, one in super-G and one in the combined. After edging American Lindsey Vonn for the overall title in 2011, Hoefl-Riesch finished third in 2012 and second in 2013. Her gold medal in the combined at the 2013 world championships made her a medalist at the last four major championships (2009, 2011, 2013 worlds and 2010 Olympics). She also won gold in slalom at the 2009 worlds and made the podium three other times with 2013 downhill bronze, 2011 downhill bronze and 2011 super-G bronze. She represented Germany in the 2003 and 2007 worlds but missed the 2005 version and the 2006 Turin Games due to injury. Prior to that, Hoefl-Riesch reached prodigy status by winning nine medals from 2001-04 at the junior world championships with at least one in each of the five disciplines.