On the Slippery Slope to Success | Culture| Arts, music and lifestyle reporting from Germany | DW | 04.04.2004
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On the Slippery Slope to Success

Maria Riesch is well on the way to becoming a skiing icon. The impressive number of wins in her short career to date indicates a bright future for the young German. DW-WORLD profiles the rising star of the slopes.


Maria Riesch is expected to become one of German skiing's most decorated athletes.

Germany’s Maria Riesch is turning a lot of heads in the world of skiing. The 19-year-old has been having an impressive racing season; she won her first World Cup Slalom in Finland last month and is continuing to finish among the top in many competitions. She already has three world cup victories to her name and has become Germany’s newest athletic hope for next season.

Maria Riesch’s life has revolved around skiing since she was three years old when her parents bought her first pair of skis. Growing up at the foot of Germany’s best ski slopes in Garmisch-Partenkirshen, Riesch had everything close at hand to help in her development into one of Germany’s top skiers.

Slalom and downhill double victory

Maria Riesch Skifahrerin Abfahrt Haus Ennstal Österreich

She proved her skills by becoming the first person in almost a decade to win both the slalom and downhill events in the same winter. The downhill victory was even sweeter after she avoided a near catastrophic accident in terrible conditions on the course in Austria.

The strongly-built Riesch was noticed on a more professional level after she won the Junior World cup and the European Cup three years ago. Since then, she’s taken another three junior titles.

Three is the magic number

Three being her lucky number so far, Riesch has also won three World cup meetings in two seasons. Her winnings this year have seen her take home over €300,000. Some are already comparing her to Germany’s top female skier ever, Katja Seizinger who won three Olympic gold medals in her career.

Riesch attributes her success to the support from her parents, her coaches and all those at her ski club, SC Partenkirchen, where’s she’s been a member since she was five years old. Skiing has played a major role in the life of the Riesch family. Maria’s younger sister Susanne is also a strong slalom competitor.

Time to graduate

On top of Maria’s rigorous training and frequent media appearances, she still managed to finish her Abitur, Germany’s secondary school graduation degree that entitles students admission to universities.

Even before hanging up her skis this season, sports experts are speculating that next season Maria Riesch will be one of the strongest female competitors to watch out for. Already she’s considered among the world’s best.

  • Date 04.04.2004
  • Author Shaye Hoobanoff (nda)
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/4s0V
  • Date 04.04.2004
  • Author Shaye Hoobanoff (nda)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/4s0V