Some places lose their magic after a while, but little Sölden in the Ötztal recently showed itself to the regular guest from a, well, new side: empty streets, dark windows, like in a disaster film, just before all hell breaks loose. All of this was of course owed to the Corona protocol; The start of the Alpine Ski World Cup took place in a bubble that should not burst under any circumstances. Ski racer Lisa Marie Loipetssperger was not at all wrong with this silence, so shortly before her debut in the top league of alpine sports: “You can approach it a little more relaxed for the first time if you don’t have the whole World Cup package yet,” said you. This whole package in Sölden traditionally includes après-ski in front of the team hotel until the morning and 15,000 partying spectators on race day. There were years when the coaches brought wheat beer to their athletes’ rooms to calm them down.
The unfamiliar silence had another advantage this time, in the women’s giant slalom: Loipetssperger’s laughter echoed through the almost deserted glacier stadium after the first run. It was a very relieved laugh.
Alpine giant slaloms for women have followed a familiar script in recent years: Viktoria Rebensburg drove ahead, what happened behind was seldom edifying from a German point of view, but her ancestor usually covered it with a cloak of silence. In Sölden, at the first race after Rebensburg’s resignation, the gap became all the more visible. But it doesn’t help: In the European Cup, the second division of sport, they have built up “a good squad” in recent years, said Jürgen Graller, the head coach of the women in the German Ski Association (DSV): “It’s already a bit off the time that the boys are now getting out of their comfort zone and onto the big stage. ” This development project is not entirely new. Kira Weidle from SC Starnberg benefited from this a few years ago, and last winter teammate Leonie Flötgen made her debut in the World Cup, also in the giant slalom. What is new is that Lisa Loipetssperger, 20, from WSV Munich, now also gets her chance: In Sölden, she turned 50, making her the second best German, one place ahead of the more experienced Jessica Hilzinger. And now?
On the one hand, her career sounds familiar and on the other hand not, as a “city child” among many “mountain people”, as she puts it. The families of these children have to spend more and more time taking the offspring to the snow (or a lot of money for the ski club trips). Loipetssperger benefited above all from the passion of her family that she “slipped into it” when she was six years old when she came to the WSV. Then “everything got a little bit independent”: German championship titles in all junior classes, especially in slalom and giant slalom (“I’m not a fan of extremely high speeds”), high school diploma at the sports boarding school in Berchtesgaden, first injuries, however it always went uphill, or: quickly downhill. She is now in the Bundeswehr’s sports promotion group, and is now practically a professional racing driver. “It’s like a dream come true”, said Loipetssperger a year ago: “At least a little bit.”
That fits your character quite well: step by step, or better: swing by swing. Adventurous but not carefree. Not one that overtakes itself. Others, like New Zealander Alice Robinson or Rebensburg, had already won World Cups or Olympic medals at Loipetssperger’s age, Loipetssperger’s best result so far is a 20th place in the European Cup. But in the long term, it can’t hurt to be patient and push yourself to the limit in this grueling sport. “First of all, I just want to present my best skiing,” she said in Sölden. The final run of the best 30? “It would be cool, but it wouldn’t be bad if I couldn’t do it.”
Her debut was then confirmed twice: that she “rudimentarily belongs”, as her head coach said, but that there is still a lot of work ahead of her: “There was still a little bit of shyness about it,” said Graller, but basically he appreciates Loipetssperger’s qualities, which he dresses in the attribute “uncomplicated”: You drive cheekily, let the skis off “extremely quickly”, so don’t slide or drift too long in the curves. Loipetssperger’s self-review was almost identical, which also speaks for her: She was “really happy”, but on the steep slope she “put up a little too much and risked too little”. But basically, her coach emphasized, one thing was clear: “That the future belongs to the youth.” Swing for swing.