Winter Games Athletes
Sochi will mark Neureuther's third Olympic appearance, but it’s his first as a medal favorite. At age 29, he’s now considered one of the world’s best technical skiers after a 2013 season that ended with the best results of his career. On the World Cup circuit, he placed a career-best fourth in the overall standings and finished second in the slalom behind Austria’s Marcel Hirscher. It was his first top-three season finish in any discipline, and his sixth-place finish in the giant slalom was also a career best after previously peaking at 29th back in 2011. Neureuther, the son of World Cup skiers, also won his first individual medal at a major championship in 2013, earning silver in the slalom at the world championships. He trailed only Hirscher in that race, and the budding rivalry has led some to call the Sochi slalom a two-horse race. This year, Neureuther again finds himself in the top five of the overall World Cup standings and tied for second in the slalom - with only Hirscher getting the better of him. Six of Neureuther's eight career World Cup victories have come in the last two seasons, helping to boost his career podium total to 26. In previous Olympics, Neureuther hasn’t completed three of his four events. His lone finish was an eighth-place showing in the Vancouver giant slalom. He posted DNFs in the slalom after doing the same at Turin in both the slalom and giant slalom.