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Hermann Maier criticizes Austrian Ski Federation

Ski legend Hermann Maier strongly criticizes the Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV) and their management. The Alpine Skiing World Championships in Schladming do not present the ÖSV team and their coaches in a good light.

Hermann Maier from Flachau (Pongau) is writing an online diary about the World Championships, which can be read on the website of his main sponsor.

In his blog, Maier said that the people in charge were apparently overstrained with their task and would hide behind the sportsmen, instead of taking off pressure from them.

"To be honest, there are no candidates for a medal, apart from Anna Fenninger and Marcel Hirscher. Therefore, I think it is time to question the area, the officials and the coaches.

"Instead of taking off the pressure from the team, they have actually increased it with their unreasonably high expectations. I remember well that the focus was on me back then, which made it easier for my colleagues. They could do whatever they wanted.

"Now the officials and coaches should take over. I have, however, not heard a lot from them during the World Championships. Neither was there the slightest self-criticism. In my opinion, it is necessary to examine the preparations and the training, which are conducted with a big effort.

"I wish they would recall the basics of skiing and that – without looking at the pressure – the pleasure for the sport was the most important factor. Instead, they are hiding behind the sportsmen, knowing that, in case of failure, they are guaranteed a different job. This is a tradition in Austria."

The Austrian Ski Federation has not yet reacted upon Mr Maier’s criticism. Priority is now apparently given to the fight for medals.

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