JEONGSEON, South Korea — Remember a few years back when LeBron James took his talents to Miami and people were, like, the guy has to win an NBA title to prove he’s one of the all-time greats?
Same when, back in the day, John Elway hadn’t yet won a Super Bowl with Denver, and the noise was all about how he had to win to cement his legacy?
In Austria, alpine ski racing is some amazing combination of the NFL, NBA, MLB and every other thing that can come to mind. As they ski down rivers of ice, the country’s ski stars turn into pop culture heroes who all but walk on water.
Among its alpine legends, and we are talking Toni Sailer, Franz Klammer, Hermann Maier and many more, the evidence would strongly suggest that Marcel Hirscher is perhaps the greatest men’s alpine skier of all time. Except — he had never won an Olympic gold medal.
In a brilliant combination of downhill and slalom skiing in the event that is now called the super-combined, Hirscher raced his way to Olympic victory in a pooled time of 2:06.52. Two French racers went 2-3, Alexis Pinturault 23-hundredths of a second behind and Victor Muffat-Jeandet 1.02 back.