Alpine skiing may be a national sport in Austria, but the country’s best sportsman for the second straight year was a soccer player.
Bayern Munich defender David Alaba beat three-time reigning Alpine skiing World Cup overall champion Marcel Hirscher for Austria’s Sportsman of the Year award for a second straight year. Women’s Alpine skiing World Cup overall champion Anna Fenninger won the Sportswoman of the Year award for a second straight year, too.
Alaba earned 1,193 points in journalist voting, beating Hirscher by a single point.
Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League in 2013, known as the treble in European soccer. It won the Bundesliga this year and bowed out in the Champions League semifinals. The Austrian national team did not qualify for the World Cup.
Hirscher was favored to win the Sochi Olympic slalom title but finished second to countryman Mario Matt. He clinched the World Cup overall title after the Olympics in March. Matt was third in the Sportsman of the Year voting, followed by Sochi Olympic downhill champion Matthias Mayer.
Alaba became the first man since another Alpine skier, Hermann Maier, to repeat as Austria’s Sportsman of the Year. The four-time Olympic medalist Maier won four straight from 1998 through 2001.
Fenninger, the Sochi Olympic super-G champion, had nearly twice as many voting points for the Sportswoman award over the runner-up, Sochi Olympic parallel slalom snowboarding champion Julia Dujmovits.
The last five Austrian Sportswoman of the Year awards have gone to Alpine skiers (Andrea Fishbacher, Elisabeth Goergl, Marlies Schild and Fenninger twice).
World champion sailors Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar won the Team of the Year award.