40th World Cup win for Anja Pärson

January 18th, 2009

Over a year after her last downhill victory, Anja Paerson finally managed to excel again in that specialty and put herself back into the small group of top-favourites for the 2009 Overall World Cup title. The Swedish veteran celebrated her 40th World Cup win since December 1998 – and many more are certainly in view for her now.

“It’s for sure an important win for me, I have been skiing well in downhill since November, but the weather was bad both in Lake Louise and St. Moritz where the race was eventually cancelled. I was afraid last night that the same would also occur here today, so I was really happy this morning when I saw the sun shining in a blue sky. It really pumped me up and I was very motivated this morning after skiing so well in training the other day. I was also ready to charge today after my poor skiing in the combined event yesterday.”

“I managed to be very aggressive from the first gate but I had problems at the bottom to handle the flat light. I made a bad mistake in one of the last turns so I was not sure I could be fast enough to take the lead. After skiing so well in training, I was just not able to raise my level today, I couldn’t go for it as hard as I wished.”

“I was extremely pleased to see number 1 next to my name on the timing board after my run, even though I knew that there were still many other favorites at the start waiting to get on course. It was pretty exciting to wait on them at the leaders’ board aside Dominique Gisin who achieved an impressive run too.”

“We congratulate each other a lot after the arrival of Lindsey Vonn who was faster than us after her run. Then we had to wait a few more minutes to be assured to remain at the top of the standings – after the race of Larisa Yurkiw who skied so well yesterday. She would have been fast again without her problems.”

“I felt confident since the beginning of the season, I trained as hard as usual and I was very pleased with my new equipment, it was just a matter of time for me to confirm again my potential during a race. Finally this once took place by fair weather conditions even though the visibility was difficult in the second part of the course. I don’t mind sharing first place with Dominique Gisin who already did well here a few years ago.”

“Today’s success boosts my position in the Overall World Cup standings which represent my main goal for the season. I don’t think so much about the Worlds at Val d’Isère for the moment. In fact I even don’t know the course there, but it should not be a problem for me to find the right motivation and the best rhythm in France. I always have much fun taking all risks in medal events – it has always been the case since I was a junior. I feel so much adrenaline in big races, it helps me to approach my limits and fight hard for victory. Of course another gold medal in France would be great because I have won at least one at each World Championships since 2001!”

“At the end of the day, it’s not so much a matter of setting records and to win more than ten gold medals in my career which is important for me, but to have fun while fighting for victory and feel able to keep on reaching my potential. Changing gear last spring was a good move which also gave me much momentum. We all worked hard during last summer training and it’s paying off. Winning a downhill for a skier coming from Taernaby is certainly something special as well as reaching that mark of 40 wins which is quite amazing. I never thought to be able to do so well when I started to compete.”

“The next weekend at Cortina d’Ampezzo should be very exciting. A lot of points are at stake and I also want to do well in Super-G and giant slalom. A slalom podium too would be something special. I’m getting close to it.”