This weekend, Marco Odermatt essentially clinched his first of what could be a string of Alpine skiing World Cup overall titles.
The 24-year-old Swiss phenom finished second and third in a pair of giant slaloms in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, upping his lead in the overall standings to a near-insurmountable 329 points over Norwegian speed racer Aleksander Aamodt Kilde.
Kilde skipped the technical races to prepare for the downhill at this week’s World Cup Finals in France, an act of concession for the overall title.
The only way for Kilde to pass Odermatt is if he enters all four finals events (though he’s not expected to race the closing slalom) with no worse than a win and three runners-up. And that’s if Odermatt finishes outside the top 15 in all of his finals races, which is just as remote of a possibility.
So Odermatt will become the youngest man to win the overall, the biggest annual prize in ski racing combining season-long results across all disciplines, since Marcel Hirscher won the second of his record eight in a row in 2013.
Odermatt, who grew up calculating the World Cup points of Swiss speed racer Didier Cuche, will also be the first Swiss man to lift the giant crystal globe since Carlo Janka in 2010 (Janka retired this season).
Odermatt made his first splash at the 2018 World Junior Championships, winning four individual gold medals. A year later, he earned his first World Cup win in a super-G, becoming the youngest man to win a speed race on the circuit in 25 years.
“Odi” ranked second in the world last season in the overall, giant slalom and super-G. His ascent continued with six World Cup wins so far this season, plus the Olympic GS title and now the annual label that every ski racer covets.
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