UA few days ago, Kira Weidle announced her impatience before the start of the alpine skiing winter using the hashtag #cantwait. She garnished her anticipation on her Instagram page with a few video snippets of shooting trips under a clear blue sky. And it really took a long time for the alpine downhill skiers to plunge into this Olympic winter.
But now it should start with a triad over a weekend. Two runs and a Super-G are on the competition calendar in Lake Louise within 48 hours, provided that the announced 50 centimeters of fresh snow does not mess up the plan. “I’m looking forward to it”, says Kira Weidle in any case before the first test this Friday – and adds: “Lake Louise is one of my favorite tracks.”
Currently the best German downhill runner
Here, high up in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, three years ago she made it onto the podium for the very first time in the Alpine Ski World Cup, finishing third. And here the Stuttgart woman, who is active for the Starnberg ski club, rushed into the top ten three more times. What might have passed as a surprise in the years 2017 to 2019 is now set to become the rule for the currently best German downhill runner.
After all, the 25-year-old has recently entered the race with the certainty that she is one of the absolute top performers in her field. Because at the season highlight of last winter, the World Ski Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, she won the silver medal in the downhill, just 0.2 seconds away from the Swiss Corinne Suter. Kira Weidle was even able to place herself just ahead of Lara Gut-Behrami (Switzerland) – and she drove in the championships in the Dolomites as double world champion at the height of her career, which was not poor in success.
For the upcoming season there is therefore no longer any reason for women’s head coach Jürgen Graller to keep the expectations of Kira Weidle low: It is “the clear goal” that she “is on the podium in the downhill classification”, he said Austrians in the service of the German Ski Association (DSV). Graller does not even want to rule out the fight for the small crystal ball for the best of the season – Kira Weidle finished fifth in the season’s ranking last winter.
“Speed Project” of the DSV
The problem could turn out to be that Kira Weidle is practically the sole entertainer in the German downhill team. “In the speed area, it’s a one-woman show,” Graller had also admitted. Because apart from Kira Weidle, only Nadine Kapfer is registered in Lake Louise. But the 21-year-old from Garmisch is only starting there in a World Cup race for the second time.
In her debut, a Super-G in December 2020, she did not finish in Val d’Isère. In order to remedy this, the DSV has launched a new “speed project” for some time. Five or six young women born between 1999 and 2002 are to be built up into a powerful downhill team in the medium term. Which, based on experience, will last one or the other winter and is not immune to setbacks.
Until then, sports soldier Kira Weidle has to be prepared for the fact that the hopes of the ski-interested public rest solely on her. But she doesn’t feel any “special pressure”, she says. Rather, they feel encouraged by the World Cup medal to complete a successful winter, the climax of which will then be the Olympic Winter Games. To win a medal at the Olympics is her “big goal”.
And she undoubtedly knows her way around the fulfillment of her own prophecies. Once in elementary school, she had to write down her career aspirations. The then eight-year-old noted “skier” with full conviction. According to tradition, she countered her teacher’s objection that this is a nice sport, but not a profession, with the words: “If you drive fast enough, yes!”