The World Cup after the Olympic Gold
After the Olympic gold in giant and an absolute World Cup that is starting to repeat this season, Marco Odermatt adds a great trophy to his predestined career: the world title of the men’s downhill, the “mother” race of skiing. On the Courchevel Eclipse he beat his great rival Aleksander Aamodt Kilde by 48 cents (for Mikaela’s boyfriend Shiffrin it is the second silver medal, only clearer and less mocking than that of the super-G, where he lost to the Canadian Crawford for a single cent) and Cameron Alexander, the surprise of the day, also from Canada, confirming that in Â«dryÂ» events, the Â«maple leafÂ» athletes are always dangerous.
Youthful triumphs, the Chosen One of skiing
So let’s see who the new skiing phenomenon is, a boy who at the age of 25 (he turned them on 8 October) already has the most important victories in his sport on his bulletin board. According to Ingemar Stenmark he could break the record of 8 overall World Cups held by Marcel Hirscher. If LeBron James was the “Chosen One” of basketball, Odermatt is of skiing: apart from the slalom (which he does not attend), he is able to impose himself in every specialty. At the junior level he was an iradid capable of winning six golds and a bronze at the World Championships in his category (one gold and third place in 2016 in Sochi, the rest in Davos 2018).
At 25 he has already won everything
In the World Cup he made his debut on March 19, 2016 in the St. Moritz giant. The first podium in the European Cup dates back to January 2018, the first center in the main event is the victory in the super-G of Beaver Creek on 6 December 2019. The previous February he had made his debut at the World Championships in Aare, 12th in super-G and 10th in giant slalom . While his career was booming, Odermatt broke the meniscus in his right knee: he returned to the 2021 World Championships in Cortina, coming close to the podium in downhill (4th) but performing poorly both in super-G (11th), and in giant (not concluded it) and in the parallel (11Â° also here). This is the current balance of Marco’s career: 1 Olympic gold and 1 world champion; 1 absolute World Cup, 1 giant cup and 1 super-G cup; 44 podiums, with 19 victories, in the World Cup, which in the current season leads with 1386 points against 1073 for Kilde; 7 medals at the Junior World Championships.
Passion for Schwingen
Odermatt comes from Buochs in the canton of Nidwalden, German-speaking and peasant Switzerland where traditions have an ancient, almost medieval flavour. The top event – but not only there – is the Schwingen, the fight on a sawdust tatami in which the contenders wear jute breeches, the only legal foothold to grab the rival. Â«Shepherds and farmers practiced it, today it is a show with thousands of spectators. Whoever “backs” the other on both shoulders wins; then, however, he has the obligation to clean it with pats». Marco tried it: “But only for a few seconds, you have some terrible beasts in front of you”, is his comment.
Love for the canton of Niedwalden
On the website of a Swiss Ski sponsor company, he described the charm of his places. â€˜There is an easy way to get to know me better: take a day off, come to Buochs, look for a lush meadow or other lovely spot and enjoy the wonderful air and beautiful surroundings. This is what my ancestors did over 600 years ago, settling at “von Matt” in the canton of Niedwalden. Now there are almost 6,000 descendants of this family living in Switzerland: they all love their hometown, myself included. That’s why I still live in Buochs with my parents.’
The family and the girlfriend-to-be doctor
Parents are called Priska and Walti, sister Alina. The Sportmagazine site has published some news on her private life (which is very confidential: she also uses private accounts on social networks, therefore with limitations on certain information). Marco is engaged to Stella Parpan, a nurse who is now studying medicine. They have known each other since kindergarten, in the few public images that concern them they appear happy and smiling. However, according to this site, the two do not yet live together: Odermatt would in fact continue to share an apartment with Gabriel Gwerder, a historic friend of his since childhood.
Social media, sponsors, earnings
Like many sportsmen today, Odermatt also has Instagram as his reference social account (244,000 followers). But he is also present on Facebook (72,000 followers), where after the hoax in super-G he posted a simple thought (“Life goes on”), and on Tik Tok. Since 2021 he has joined the team of Red Bull athletes, but has not abandoned the sponsor Helvetia who has accompanied him since the beginning. How much can someone like him earn in a year? Quantifying it is not easy because thanks to the victories various partners are being added. Last March, the Oasport website calculated that in the 2021-2022 year, the one in which he won the first ever World Cup, he earned 550,000 euros in prizes alone. It is therefore not wrong to estimate that the Swiss is now an athlete worth 2 million euros a season.
The reference to the idol Didier Cuche
In telling himself before the Beijing Games, in an interview with Corriere della Sera Marco Odermatt had explained some secrets of his explosion. The first: give up a private team. “I prefer to work in a group: it motivates me”. The leap was then mental: “I understood that I can always impose myself: making it clear has unlocked me”. Finally there was the reference of Didier Cuche, the Olympic champion of the downhill who withdrew in January after the races in Kitzbuehel. â€œWhen Didier won, I cheered; when he lost, I cried. At the age of 10 I finished first and the prize was a day skiing with him. I was so excited that I almost didn’t talk to him. He had a different way of skiing than mine, also due to the different physique: but his spirit was unique and I always tried to copy it».
Boating, climbing, golf and tennis
Apart from the attraction towards Schwingen, Odermatt has more in his life than skiing. We have already mentioned feeling good in contact with nature. But then there’s the rest: Â«I liked learning languages: in addition to German, my mother tongue, I speak English and French. Living near a lake, I have a boat license. But not the boat yet. I like climbing, I play golf and tennis, having had Roger Federer as an idol». The last curiosity concerns his ideal skier. If he were Dr. Frankenstein, whose pieces would make the perfect champion? «I would take almost everything from Marcel Hirscher, Beat Feuz’s sensitivity on snow and Carlo Janka’s talent, unfortunately often hampered by injuries: a skier created in this way would be almost sure of always winning».