W.He is one of the best in his alpine skiing career, regularly climbs to the podium and has an impressive collection of trophies. Among other things, the organizers distribute to the fastest cowbells, chamois made of mineral, old tin cups and even reindeer, which you cannot take home, but only act as a sponsor.

Marco Odermatt probably no longer knows what to do with all these memories from the different World Cup races. The Swiss, who still lives in a shared apartment, will probably keep most of them somewhere in the basement.

Since he has long since won most of the odd trophies at least once, he is now apparently setting new goals for himself, in addition to the few records he can still break: triumph at least once in each World Cup venue in his career . He was great, he said after his success in Saturday's giant slalom in Bansko. swiss television“to be able to take over a country again.”

“If it fits, then it fits”

After Bulgaria, Norway is now on Odermatt's zero list next weekend. I had never been on the podium before in Kvitfjell. The chances of you now clearing this defect are quite high. The 26-year-old Swiss won ten of his 18 races this season and was on the podium in six more. “I can't think too much about the numbers,” he says.

About this winter and also between seasons. The victory in Bansko was the 34th in the World Cup and the ninth in a row in the giant slalom. The last time Alberto Tomba achieved such a series in a discipline was in slalom 29 years ago.

But Odermatt not only dominates in the giant slalom, he is also the best in Super-G and, for the first time this season, in the downhill. Odermatt won 23 of the last 44 World Cup races and only six times did he not finish in the top three. “If it fits, then it fits,” he said a few weeks ago. “Then everything becomes a little easier and sometimes you can play and you don't always have to risk 100 percent to make a good run.”

With a mischievous smile

But it also has to do with his driving style that has worked so well for him for a few years. No one knows how to “create the right pressure and angle with such sensitivity and precision without wasting energy,” wrote Marco Büchel, former world-class alpine skier and current ZDF expert, in a recent article for “Schweizer Illustrierte.” Odermatt grew up in central Switzerland, in an area with the highest density of mountain railways. But it lacks the harshness that these regions sometimes give to their inhabitants, but it also makes them robust.

Odermatt's races are nothing as brutal as those of his biggest competitor in the fast disciplines this winter, Frenchman Cyprien Sarrazin. Instinct and feeling for skiing almost always allow you to make the right decisions in the race. Odermatt is smart on and off the court. The always friendly Odermatt, with his mischievous smile, has long enjoyed almost as much popularity in Switzerland as the former tennis number one. Roger Federer.

Sometimes you have to wonder where everything is going. At only 26 years old, he has already won almost everything a skier can win: Olympic gold in 2022, two World Cup titles in 2023, two consecutive World Cups and, thanks to a lead of almost 800 points: probably also will win the big crystal ball that you will receive at the end of this season. Odermatt has surpassed Hermann Maier's 20+ year old record of 2,000 World Cup points in one winter. It only took him two years to do all this. This winter he has worked on some little things that have completed his already excellent career.

The victory he was missing in the relegation World Cup was achieved in January in Wengen. The fact that Odermatt accomplished this in his home race fits with his ability to sense the right moment. The search for the golden chamois, the trophy of victory in Kitzbühel, a week later, was unsuccessful. “It never ends, it always continues,” says Odermatt. Of trophies, records and now also of marking the locations of the World Cups.