When Austria secured the maximum 22 quota spots for its Olympic Alpine team, there figured to be few surprises when its roster was announced.
Instead, there was a shocker.
Andrea Fischbacher, the Vancouver Olympic champion in the super-G, was not among the selections to the world’s strongest overall squad.
Fischbacher, 28, seemed like a lock to make it judging by her pair of Top-10 finishes at last year’s World Championships in Schladming, as well as respectable finishes in the Beaver Creek downhill (8th), as well as the two Cortina d’Ampezzo downhills (10th and 11th). Austria, is in the midst of an even stronger season this year. Her best super-G finish of the season, however, was 17th in Beaver Creek, and she skied out of the final race in Cortina on Sunday, which likely impacted her not being chosen.
Without Fischbacher, Austria will still quite the formidable unit in Sochi. Of the 22 skiers named, 16 have made at least one prior trip to the Games and four have won medals. Marcel Hirscher is a medal contender in at least three men’s events, while the women’s team boasts podium potential in Anna Fenninger, Marlies Schild and Elisabeth Goergl.
The team was dealt an unexpected blow when Hannes Reichelt, the only Austrian to win a World Cup downhill this season, was ruled out of the Games with a herniated disk in his back. Joachim Puchner has been named as his replacement..
Austria’s entire Olympic team will be made up of 130 athletes.
Benjamin Raich, a two-time gold medalist in Torino in 2006, will make his fourth Olympic appearance and has been elected to be the Austrian flag-bearer at the Opening Ceremony in Sochi.
Anna Fenninger – 2010 Olympian
Elisabeth Goergl – 2006-10 Olympian, 2x medalist
Nicole Hosp – 2006 Olympian
Michaela Kirchgasser – 2006-10 Olympian
Marlies Schild – 2002-10 Olympian, 3x medalist
Nicole Schmidhofer – 2010 Olympian
Regina Sterz – 2010 Olympian
Kathrin Zettel – 2006-10 Olympian
Romed Baumann – 2010 Olympian
Reinfried Herbst – 2006 Olympian, 1x medalist
Marcel Hirscher – 2010 Olympian
Klaus Kroell – 2006-10 Olympian
Mario Matt – 2006 Olympian
Benjamin Raich – 2002-10 Olympian, 4x medalist
Philipp Schoerghofer – 2010 Olympian
Georg Streitberger – 2010 Olympian