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No Star Is Born?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Most of WC stars get married sooner or later and have children. Like most of us mortals do. Yet, if my superfluous knowledge is right, very few of the kids become ski stars as well.


There are not many exceptions: Traudl Hecher and Liz Goergl (her brother not so much), Maria Rosa Quario and Federica Brignone, Rosi Mittermaier + Christian Neureuther and Felix, Hanni Wenzel + Harti Weirather and Tina W. To some lesser extent some more Austrians like the Spiess family in Zillertal (Nicola and Toni, the guy who first jumped the original three camelbacks in Val Gardena) and undoubtedly some more. The young Mathias Mayer as one more example but he´s not a star yet. And, frankly, besides Liz Goergl a TRUE ski star with medals, cups and titles is none of them.


There are no young Sailer, Killy, Thoeni, Stenmark, Zurbriggen, Girardelli, Moser, Nadig, Walliser, Kronberger etc. etc. Even if I suppose that lots (most?) of them had picked up skiing as kids. (Some not, I remember the schoolgirl Marion Moser being in love with horses, not skis.)


The press loves to mention „talents“ and „genes“ and the future child od Marlies and Benni will be almost the paralell to Kate and William in Britain. The kid as a skier has the atmoshere, support, money, the parents´ contacts – often in vain, no star is born.


But why? Is it the pressure? Both from outside (the environment expects top results, because the dad/mum…) and inside („I mustn´t disappoint dad/mum, because he/she was so good“) and demotivation when not exactly winning?


Or is it even some sort of strategy in parents who know too well what the skier´s life is about: 200+ days somewhere on the snow, traveling, un/packing, often in frost, in nasty weather, endangered education, questionable reward compared to some other sports?


Please don´ t forget that the racer´s career in Alpine countries is much more paying than in US and Canada and that a good (not top) ex-racer has a better chance to become a prosperous ski school (co-)owner, teacher, coach and a local celebrity.


I may be wrong though. The dropout may not be bigger than in other sports? Is there a comparison?


I´d be happy to find your examples, arguments, opinions, experience. Thanks.

post #2 of 6

I've always beieved that what makes a world class athlete is as much related to genetic exceptions rather than predictable inherited genes. It crosses most sports. Of course a background in a given sport makes for a good start if the exception occurs but it is the true freak of nature who is generally 'world class.'


There are so many athletes who appear to have the right genes who are in world terms relatively mediocre. Rarely do siblings acheive on an equal basis and yet most athletes have siblings. If it was a genetic thing then siblings would be likely to acheive at a similar level. Genius is a freakish exception.


I'm sure that pressure and expectation can be factored into this as well and it is much more complex than I am probably making ot out to be but I think this is what happens in essence. It's probably best explained by looking at the background of the real sporting geniuses and rarely can any higher level acheivement be found in the parentage. In fact, most often they come from parents who were at best low level participants in the sport.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanx for yout input, Adie.

I expexted more reactions but I may have overestimated the topic. Still, I think I will do some more research and make it hopefully some readable stuff in the mag I write for.

post #4 of 6

I used to ski with Christian Pravda's son.  He was good, but only had moderate success on the US ski team.

post #5 of 6
post #6 of 6

Dang, and my "nerdy" post is my post # 2^8

Doesn't get much better!

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