Every year, the ski season gives us the chance to hit the slopes and enjoy the fantastic feeling that brings. For some, this opportunity comes with a lifelong love of skiing. For others, this is their first time experiencing the sensation of skiing and they’re eager to find out more about it. If you’re looking for the best value for money in terms of quality, experience, and atmosphere, then you might want to look into taking a lesson or buying a pass before you go on any lengthy queues. We put together a list of the top skiers based on their 2018 performance, and the results are in!
The Biggest Talent On The Slopes This Season
With the 2019 season now underway, the skiing world is looking ahead to the upcoming Winter Olympics in a little under 2 years’ time. The top skiers are taking inspiration from the incredible performance of their Swedish counterparts at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.
The 2018 season was a big one for the Swedish ski team and their fans. After taking home the bronze medal at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, the Swedish ski team went on to win the World Cup. There were also a handful of other standout performances, which we’ve listed below.
Skiing has always been part of the Swedish culture, which has resulted in many world-class athletes gracing the slopes. It was only a matter of time before the sports industry took note and began to recognize their incredible talent.
Nina Högnu is one of the most experienced skiers on the planet, having clocked up an incredible 13 years of ski racing in the Alps. A true champion, she’s won the World Cup 10 times, the Super-G gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, and the overall 2018 women’s ski world championship title. So, it’s fair to say that she’s not one to lose!
Högnu is also one of the most versatile and multi-talented skiers, having won the Snowboard cross title as well as gold in the ski jump and slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics. What’s more is she also competed in the biathlon at the same games, which she won a bronze medal in. Högnu’s incredible sporting achievements make her one of the most recognizable and respected figure skiers on the planet.
Kaillie Gustafson is the other Swedish superstar of the 2018 season. She too had a fantastic year, winning the overall 2018 women’s ski world championship title. This is the third consecutive year she’s won this coveted title. A true superstar, Gustafson also took home the gold medal in the same event at the 2018 Winter Olympics. It was yet another incredible year for the 30-year-old, whose resume boasts 12 World Cup victories and whose legend grows with each passing year.
Although she’s been competing in the sport for a long time, Gustafson only recently took ownership of her identity as a skier. In the past, she sometimes struggled with body image issues, but says that she’s finally found the confidence to embrace her skiers’ body. She credits this newfound self-assurance to both social media and the #metoo movement, which has helped to bring focus to the issue of sexual harassment and assault in the sports world.
Charlotte Kalla is the 2018 silver medallist, having taken home this prize ahead of teammate Högnu and Janica Krejci. One of the most memorable events of Kalla’s incredible year was her dazzling downhill performed in front of the Pyramids in Egypt. This was one of the most memorable and iconic moments of the 2018 FIS Ski World Ski Championships. The 24-year-old also took home a silver medal in the giant slalom. This is the second year in a row she’s won a silver medal in a giant slalom.
Kalla’s resume in terms of World Cup wins only features one other podium finish, a bronze in the slalom at the 2017 World Championships. The European skier is looking to continue her success in 2019, having won an impressive bronze at the Alpine Ski World Championships last month. This was followed by another bronze at the South American Championships. She also took home a silver in the women’s freeride event at the Canadian National Ski Championships.
Janica Krejci is the 2018 bronze medallist and a true star in the making. The 20-year-old won the bronze medal in the giant slalom and managed to out-perform the field in both the super-G and the slalom. What’s more is she’s a two-time winner at the European Junior Championships, having taken home gold in 2016 and 2018. 2019 will be the make or break year for Krejci, as she fights for a spot on the Swiss ski team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Germany.
One of the most recognizable and highly-regarded figure skiers to emerge in recent years, Krejci is often compared to fellow countrywoman Kalla. The European skier is quickly establishing herself as one of the best slalom skiers of her generation. She also credits her physique to her Swiss ski coach, having previously competed for Slovakia, where women’s skiing was not yet fully established.
Beatrice Hinsz is the 2018 bronze medallist and recent World Cup winner. The 33-year-old took home the bronze medal in the giant slalom but didn’t rest on her laurels, competing in all five World Cup races in February and March. Hinsz’s achievements are remarkable, considering she’s only been on the world stage for a couple of years. She won the 2017 World Cup and finished second in both the slalom and the giant slalom that year. What’s more is Hinsz was awarded the Fritz Werner prize for the most promising newcomer, which she will receive at the annual awards ceremony in Kloten later this year.
Anna Gasser is one of the most experienced skiers of the 2018 season. She too finished third in the overall standings behind Krejci and Högnu. The 43-year-old first experienced skiing in 1999 when she moved to Val d’Isere in the French Alps, where she began competing in small tournaments. Since then, she’s continuously improved her ski-running, winning several races in the French Alps as well as at the European and World level. She currently resides in Chambésy, France.
Anna Schickerl is one of the most accomplished skiers of the 21st century. A double medallist at the 2018 Winter Olympics in the women’s slopestyle, she’s also won the overall 2018 world championship title. This is the third year in a row she’s won the world championship title. What’s more is Schickerl was also part of the team that took home the bronze medal in the 2014 Olympics, which she also happened to win.
The 30-year-old first picked up a pair of skis at the age of seven and has been hooked ever since. She currently resides in St. Anton, where she trains with the local ski club and can often be found on the slopes during the season. While training in St. Anton, Schickerl also competes in the Stampede international skiing marathon, which she has won four times. This is certainly an incredible feat for any athlete, let alone a slalom skier!
Sara Güell beat out all comers this season to take home the overall 2018 world championship title. The 31-year-old began competing in the sport at an early age and made her debut at the Winter Olympics four years ago in Sochi. Güell’s resume is remarkable, boasting 10 World Cup victories, which include five victories this season. She also took home a silver medal in the giant slalom and a bronze in the slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics. While on the world stage, Güell has also won the European Championships twice and the World Cup in 2015.
A truly iconic figure in the world of skiing, Güell is widely regarded as one of the best slalom skiers of all time. She also happens to be the most successful Spanish skier of all time, having won 17 World Cup races, including seven this season alone. What’s more is Güell now coaches at the Campo Santo Lodoso ski school in Porto, Portugal, where she continues to impart her knowledge to the next generation of slalom skiers.