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Hirscher set to end glorious skiing career: reports

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Paris (AFP)

Eight-time World Cup alpine skiing champion Marcel Hirscher will announce his retirement next week at the age of 30, several Austrian media outlets reported on Friday.

The reports came as the Austrian Ski Federation announced a Hirscher press conference next Wednesday in Salzburg.

That event is entitled "Retrospectives, insights and perspectives". It will be broadcast live on Austrian public television channel ORF.

Hirscher previously scheduled a press conference at the start of August, only to cancel it.

According to the Kronen Zeitung and Kurier, two of Austria's leading newspapers, Hirscher will also use the event to announce the end of his career.

"The great Marcel Hirscher is on his way to retirement," said the Kronen on its website, adding "Thank you Marcel".

Hirscher has won everything, starting with the overall World Cup a record eight times, eclipsing compatriot Annemarie Moser-Proell, who won six and Luxembourg's Marc Girardelli, who stopped at five.

He also won six small World Cup globes in slalom and six more in giant slalom.

He won two Olympic golds (slalom and alpine combined) in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and five world championship titles (three in slalom, one in alpine combined and one in giant slalom).

One record that he did not have but might have gained if he had kept skiing was most World Cup race wins.

He had won 67, still some way behind the record of another slalom specialist, Ingemar Stenmark (86). The Swede retired in 1989 just before turning 33.

Hirscher had been keeping the suspense high all summer about his intentions, saying at the end of July that he had not made his decision.

He scheduled a press conference for August 6 but then postponed it "for the end of the summer".

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