Christina Ager – New Ski Star on the World Cup Circuit

Christina Ager. Up until two weeks ago Christina Ager, 18-year old alpine racer and new hope of the Austrian Ski Team, claimed a rather questionable sort of fame: In 2012 at the age of 16, she was chosen to read the Olympic oath at the opening ceremony of the first Winter Youth Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria. During the speech in the sold out Bergisel Stadium, she forgot her words. When she realised, that over 16.000 people were staring at her, waiting for her to continue she uttered: “Scheiße” (German for: “shit”). The video of this blooper has over 74.000 views on you tube. The media was all over her. I don’t know about you, but if I was 16 and a similar public embarrassment happened to me, I’d lock myself in my room and cry for at least a week.

This fine young lady from the Tyrolean Alps though responded to the nosy reporters with sassy coolness: “I am not here to make speeches, I am here to ski!”
And that’s exactly what she did – the following day she won the Bronze medal in Super-G, two days later the Gold Medal in the Slalom Team Event.

On November 16th, only 5 days after her 18th birthday, Christina proved once again that she’s probably the most relaxed chick in the alpine ski circus. That day, she started for the first time in a World Cup Slalom. She raced with the high bib number of 53 and after the first run she was 5th. In the end she finished 4th  in her first ever World Cup race. “It is hard to describe this. I am speechless”, was her first comment on this outstanding performance. “Since this is my first World Cup all I really hoped for, was to qualify for the second run. This is a huge surprise and I am so happy!”
She was the highest ranked Austrian in this race – if you have ever been to Austria, you know how fanatic we are about this sport. So the fact that a young girl during her first World Cup appearance saves the “national pride” is quite a big deal to us.
By the way, she was beaten only by Mikaela Shiffrin (last years’ Slalom Champion), Maria Höfl-Riesch (2 times Olympic Gold Medallist) and Tina Maze (last years’ Overall World Cup winner).  If I was 18, racing my first Wold Cup race ever, and had to save my nation’s pride – I’d probably have a nervous breakdown. Truth is, Christina kept her cool throughout both runs and this is the essence of a world-class athlete: Be relaxed and stay focused when it matters.

Christina Ager - Austrian Ski Star

I must tell you where and how Christina was raised so you’ll understand why this girl has such a down to earth and natural attitude. She grew up in the mountain lodge “Stöcklalm” in Söll, near Kitzbühl, that is run by her family. There is no bus going up that mountain, so you either have to hike, bike, take the gondola, or ski there. When she steps out the door, she is in the middle in one of the biggest ski resorts Austria has to offer. After her training sessions, she used to help in the kitchen and wait tables; this already taught her at a young age: if you want something, you gotta work for it! It is rather unusual for a kid to grow up like this nowadays, isn’t it? As we all know, attitude does not only stem from genetics but from other influences. Maybe she learned a huge part of her coolness from her Private Coach Günther Gerhard? The former Austrian Ski Team Coach that has been mentoring Christina for over 9 years and worked very hard to get to where she is today. One of the most striking things about Christina is that she never loses her smile and always stays optimistic. This all combines to make her a great role-model for young girls out there looking to succeed in ski racing and in life. The next stops on the tour are the European Cup in Paganella, Italy and the World Cup Slaloms in Courchevel, France and Lienz, Austria. Keep an eye out for this great new young talent going head to head this year with the best in the world.

 

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