Mario Matt in January 2007
|birthday||9th April 1979 (age 41)|
|place of birth||Zams , Austria|
Slalom , giant slalom ,
|society||Arlberg Ski Club|
|End of career||March 12, 2015|
|Placements in the Alpine Ski World Cup|
Mario Matt (born April 9, 1979 in Zams ) is a former Austrian ski racer . He was particularly successful in slalom and became Olympic champion in this discipline (2014) and twice world champion (2001 and 2007). There is also a team world title (2007) and 15 victories in world cup races. As a second professional pillar, the horse lover has set up a stud next to skiing. His younger brothers also made careers as skiers: Michael Matt (* 1993) is an active ski racer, Andreas Matt (* 1982) is a former ski cross driver.
Beginnings and rise to the top of the world
Mario Matt started skiing at a very early age and was soon accepted into the renowned Arlberg Ski Club . He has been a member of the ÖSV squad since 1996 . At the beginning of his career he performed well in all disciplines. In 1996 he was best in his age group at the Austrian Junior Championships in giant slalom , super-G and downhill . At the end of this year he celebrated his first victory in an FIS race ( Slalom in Waterville Valley ). In 1997 he became Austrian junior champion in Super-G, in 1998 he won this title in slalom. In his three participations in the Junior World Championships, he won two silver medals: in 1998 in slalom and 1999 in combination . This year he was able to finish all competitions under the top seven. The Tyrolean drove his first two European Cup races in January 1997, followed by another five races in the next winter. From the 1998/99 season he was regularly at the start and reached two top 10 places this winter. In 1999 he became Austrian national champion in combination.
The breakthrough came in the winter of 1999/2000 for Matt, who had meanwhile developed from an all-rounder to a slalom specialist. On December 21, 1999, he took part in a World Cup race for the first time , took 17th place in the slalom of Kranjska Gora and immediately scored World Cup points. On January 10, 2000, Matt celebrated his first European Cup victory in the slalom in Kranjska Gora. A week later he drove his second World Cup race, the slalom in Wengen , but dropped out there in the second round. Completely unexpectedly, the 20-year-old celebrated his first World Cup victory in his third World Cup slalom on January 23, 2000 in Kitzbühel with almost a second advantage over the Slovenian Matjaž Vrhovnik - and this with start number 47. He also came up with this twice in the next three races Podium and won his second World Cup slalom on March 9th in Schladming . With that he reached fourth place in the discipline ranking. In the European Cup he also achieved two more slalom victories, whereby he won the slalom classification and took fourth place overall. At the Austrian championships in 2000 he was national champion in slalom.
First world title
In the 2000/01 World Cup season , Matt celebrated his third victory in the 3-tre races in Madonna di Campiglio on December 19 and made it onto the podium three more times, which brought him to third place in the slalom classification. At his “ home world championship ” in St. Anton , Matt won his first title at major events. Already in the combination, the local hero secured the silver medal with seventh place in the downhill and second place in the slalom. Four days later he won the gold medal in the slalom ahead of his compatriot Benjamin Raich .
At the start of the 2001/02 season , Matt drove his first World Cup giant slalom, but only finished 27th. In the slalom, however, he celebrated his fourth World Cup victory in the second race in Aspen on November 26th , after finishing third the day before. He achieved another podium finish in Kranjska Gora at the end of December . However, on January 20, 2002, Matt's season was over. At the start of the first run of the Kitzbühel Slalom, he seriously injured his shoulder after suffering a slight injury while running in. Although he finished the first run in ninth place, a start in the second run was impossible. A little later he was diagnosed with a shoulder dislocation with a torn capsule and ligament as well as a fracture of the head of the humerus. On the same day he was operated on in Innsbruck.
The comeback after the serious injury was difficult for Matt. Although he reached 14th place in the first race after the forced break, the slalom in Kranjska Gora on January 5, 2003, this remained his best result until the end of the season. Many failures showed that he had not yet regained the safety of the previous years. At the 2003 World Cup in St. Moritz , the defending champion also dropped out in the first round. It was not until the end of the 2003/04 season that he was back on the podium with third places in St. Anton and Kranjska Gora and reached sixth place in the slalom discipline.
In the 2004/05 season Matt was initially among the top ten three times and finished second in Kitzbühel at the end of January. At the 2005 World Championships in Bormio he came in eleventh place in the combination, but in the slalom he was eliminated in the first round. At the season finale in Lenzerheide , Matt finally won his first World Cup race in over three years. As in the previous year, he came in sixth in the slalom finals. At the end of the season he was Austrian slalom champion for the second time.
The 2005/06 season was disappointing. In addition to the slalom, Matt also started in the giant slalom significantly more often than before, but this was not rewarded with success. During the entire season he did not reach a podium and was only twice in the top ten. At his first Olympic Games he only came in 34th place in the combination and could not finish the slalom. At the end of winter he was again Austrian slalom champion.
Back at the top of the world
Also at the beginning of the 2006/07 season , Matt only achieved placements in midfield. After the turn of the year, that changed suddenly. On January 7, 2007 he was on the podium again with third place in the Adelboden slalom and a week later celebrated his first victory in almost two years in the super combined in Wengen. If he finished the descent in 30th place, he managed to overtake 29 competitors in the slalom. He also finished the next three races on the podium. It was his only World Cup victory that he did not achieve in slalom. At the 2007 World Cup in Åre, Sweden, Matt proved that he had finally found his way back to his previous top form . With the best running times in both rounds and an overall lead of 1.81 seconds over the runner-up Manfred Mölgg , the Tyrolean was again slalom world champion for the second time since 2001. The next day he also won the gold medal in the team competition . In the World Cup he celebrated two more victories in the slaloms of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Kranjska Gora. At the season finale, however, he only came second behind Benjamin Raich , which ripped him away from victory in the Slalom World Cup by five points. In the overall World Cup, Matt finished fifth, his best result, with a total of three wins and another five podium places.
Before the 2007/08 season , Matt completed a lot of giant slalom training, which quickly paid off. On December 2, 2007, he achieved second place in Beaver Creek , by far his best result in this discipline. But he could not repeat this result. After falling out of the slalom twice in December, Matt celebrated three victories in January and February and finished fourth in the Slalom World Cup.
Declining performance and another return to the top of the world
Matt started the 2008-09 season with a third place in the Levi slalom , but had to contend with many failures in the further course and rarely came in the top ten. He was not spared from failures at the 2009 World Cup in Val-d'Isère . At his only start in the slalom, he was eliminated in the first round. Matt closed the World Cup season with his only win of the season at the finals in Åre. In December 2009 Matt drove his last giant slalom in the World Cup, from then on he concentrated fully on the slalom. The 2009/10 season was nevertheless very disappointing. Matt only crossed the finish line in two slalom starts (eighth place in Zagreb and tenth place in Kitzbühel) and was therefore unable to qualify for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver within the Austrian team . He only traveled to Canada as a reserve driver and was not used. Matt fell back to 31st place in the Slalom World Cup and was relegated from the national team to the A-squad after the season.
After the 2010/11 season had started badly and Matt did not make it to the second round in the first three World Cup slaloms, he reached fourth place in the Adelboden slalom on January 9, 2011 with the fastest time in the second round. He confirmed this performance one week later with fifth place in the Wengen slalom and another week after eighth in Kitzbühel. He had thus also qualified for the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , where he also finished fourth in the slalom with the fastest time in the second round. He missed the medal ranks by 21 hundredths of a second. On February 27, 2011 Matt celebrated his 13th World Cup victory in the Bansko slalom - the first in two years. A week later he also won the slalom in Kranjska Gora. At the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, he finished second and finished the season in fourth place in the Slalom World Cup ranking.
The 2011/12 season started again disappointingly for Matt: In the first four World Cup slaloms he only reached the finish line twice, with a ninth place in Flachau being his best result. But then he was able to improve and two fourth places in Adelboden and Wengen followed a second place in Kitzbühel and a third place in the Nightrace in Schladming. In Bansko he was subsequently disqualified as second because of a threader. After failing to cross the finish line in the Kranjska Gora slalom, he concluded the season with third place in the slalom at the season finale in Schladming.
After a somewhat subdued start to the season, Matt improved in the course of the 2012/13 World Cup winter and achieved two podium places in Zagreb and Adelboden. At the 2013 World Championships in Schladming , he won his fifth world championship medal, the bronze medal in slalom.
Olympic victory and end of career
On December 15, 2013 Matt celebrated his 15th World Cup victory in Val-d'Isère; At 34 years and eight months, he is the oldest ever winner of a World Cup slalom. In the further course of the 2013/14 season , Matt kept his form at a very high level, but did not reach the goal in Adelboden, Kitzbühel and Schladming. After all, he became the Olympic champion in slalom at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi , after setting a clear best time in the first round. This made him the oldest Olympic champion in alpine skiing to date . In 2018 , the Swede André Myhrer also won the slalom; he was a few months older than Matt.
In the 2014/15 season , Matt was far from able to build on the performance of the pre-winter season. He was eliminated in the first five World Cup slaloms with mostly good interim times. Although he was able to classify himself in the three subsequent races, he did not get past twelfth place. At the 2015 World Championships in Vail / Beaver Creek , he competed in spite of an ankle injury he had suffered from a training fall, but was eliminated in the first round. This was also his last race in his career; On March 12, 2015, he announced his resignation at a press conference in St. Anton.
Matt was made an honorary member of the Arlberg Ski Club . Among other things, he now runs a horse breeding business in his home town of Flirsch.
- St. Anton 2001 : 1st slalom, 2nd combination
- Bormio 2005 : 11th combination
- Åre 2007 : 1st slalom, 1st team competition, 11th combination
- Garmisch-Partenkirchen 2011 : 4th slalom
- Schladming 2013 : 3rd slalom
World Cup ratings
|season||total||Giant slalom||slalom||combination||City event|
World Cup victories
Matt achieved 42 podiums in individual races, including 15 wins:
|January 23, 2000||Kitzbühel||Austria||slalom|
|9th of March 2000||Schladming||Austria||slalom|
|December 19, 2000||Madonna di Campiglio||Italy||slalom|
|November 26, 2001||Aspen||United States||slalom|
|March 13, 2005||Lenzerheide||Switzerland||slalom|
|January 14, 2007||Wengen||Switzerland||Super combination|
|February 25, 2007||Garmisch-Partenkirchen||Germany||slalom|
|March 4, 2007||Kranjska Gora||Slovenia||slalom|
|January 6, 2008||Adelboden||Switzerland||slalom|
|January 22, 2008||Schladming||Austria||slalom|
|February 17, 2008||Zagreb||Croatia||slalom|
|March 14, 2009||Are||Sweden||slalom|
|February 27, 2011||Bansko||Bulgaria||slalom|
|March 6, 2011||Kranjska Gora||Slovenia||slalom|
|December 15, 2013||Val d'Isère||France||slalom|
There is also 1 podium place in team competitions .
- 1999/2000 season : 1st slalom ranking, 4th overall ranking
A total of 6 podium places, including 3 wins:
|January 10, 2000||Kranjska Gora||Slovenia||slalom|
|February 12, 2000||Often swing||Germany||slalom|
|February 13, 2000||Often swing||Germany||slalom|
Junior World Championships
- Schladming 1997 : 13th giant slalom, 15th descent
- Megève 1998 : 2nd slalom
- Pra Loup 1999 : 2nd combination, 4th slalom, 5th giant slalom, 7th Super-G, 7th descent
- 5 times Austrian national champion : Slalom 2000 , 2005 , 2006 and 2012 ; Combination 1999
- 2-time Austrian Junior Champion: Super-G 1997, Slalom 1998
- 3 podium places in the Nor-Am Cup
- 14 victories in FIS races
- Mario Matt's personal website
- Horse breeding Mario Matt (English)
- Mario Matt in the database of the International Ski Federation (English)
- Mario Matt in the database of Ski-DB (English)
- Mario Matt in the Sports-Reference database (English; archived from the original )
- With Mario Matt, a really big guy is stepping down. In: ORF.at. March 12, 2015, accessed March 16, 2015 .
- Mario Matt is the oldest slalom World Cup winner. In: derStandard.at . December 15, 2013, accessed December 15, 2013 .
- Achim Dreis: Old Swede uses the failures of the favorites. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 22, 2018, accessed on February 28, 2018 .
- Mario Matt stops. In: derStandard.at. March 12, 2015, accessed March 12, 2015 .
- Mario Matt and Patrick Ortlieb appointed honorary members. Skiclub Arlberg, accessed on February 2, 2016 .
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Austrian ski racer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 9, 1979|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Zams|