Austria’s ski superstar Marcel Hirscher is on the verge of a spectacular comeback. The 35-year-old from Salzburg, who ended his career in 2019, wants to compete in the Alpine World Cup for the Netherlands, his mother’s country of birth. The Austrian Ski Association agreed to the change of nation.

“Of course we very much regret his decision to request a change of nation to the Dutch Ski Association, but in the end we supported it,” said ÖSV General Secretary Christian Scherer. In the last few days, discussions have taken place with “various parties involved, in which we were informed that Marcel Hirscher could imagine re-entering the international ski circuit,” Scherer continued.

Hirscher won the overall World Cup eight times in a row from 2011 to 2019, more often than anyone else. He then resigned. The two-time Olympic champion and seven-time world champion wants to try to collect ranking points in New Zealand in the summer so that he can then race with the world’s best again in the new World Cup winter. Hirscher has 67 World Cup victories and a total of 138 podium places in his CV so far. With seven World Cup titles and four silver medals, he is the most successful World Cup participant in history. He also won the small crystal ball six times each in the slalom and giant slalom.

The ÖSV tried very hard to offer Hirscher “the best possible and individual conditions” in the event of his return and were able to explain these to him in a personal exchange. But in appreciation of his previous achievements for skiing, his request for a change of association was unanimously granted.

If Hirscher comes back, it would be the second spectacular comeback. In March, the Norwegian-born Lucas Pinheiro Braathen had already announced that he would be competing in the World Cup again. The slalom specialist now rides for Brazil, his mother’s home country. The 24-year-old resigned last October in a dispute with the Norwegian association.