Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)
FISCHER WITH A FLURRY OF MEDALS AND GLISTENING GLOBES
What a performance: for the fifth time in succession Fischer emerged as the dominatingly successful Nordic ski and boot brand in this year's World Cup season. In the Nordic disciplines 69% of the athletes made it to the podium with Fischer skis and 49% were also successful with Fischer boots. Five of the seven large and eight of the thirteen small crystal globes went to athletes in the Fischer Racing Team. This impressive success was topped only by the flurry of medals in Sochi (RUS): a remarkable 103 of the 159 possible medals there were won by Fischer athletes, adding a new chapter to the history of the family-owned company to coincide with its 90-year anniversary.
The anniversary year got underway with plenty of cause for celebration when January saw Therese Johaug (NOR)** and Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR)** clinch victory for themselves in the Tour de Ski. While the Norwegian then earned the title of winner of the overall World Cup relatively early on in the men's races, it was not until the final in Falun (SWE) that Therese Johaug won the neck-and-neck race with her team colleague Marit Björgen (NOR)**. Besides the large crystal globes, both overall World Cup winners received the small globe for the distance World Cup for the first time, too. Kikkan Randall (USA)* and Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)** were likewise pleased about the new additions to their trophy cabinets, winning the sprint World Cup for the third and second time, respectively.
Despite Marit Björgen missing out on a globe this season, the second-placed athlete in the overall World Cup stood out as the most successful Olympic cross country skier of all time with three gold medals in Sochi. Dario Cologna's (SUI)** performance was just as impressive, winning two Olympic titles only three months after his severe ankle injury.
Fischer athletes rule the skies
In the Nordic combined it was Eric Frenzel (GER)** who set the pace this season, too. Following Olympic gold in the individual and team events, the outstanding athlete rounded off the season by repeating his previous year's victory in the overall World Cup ahead of his two brand colleagues Johannes Rydzek (GER)** and Akito Watabe (JPN)**.
Poland's Kamil Stoch (POL)* was clearly the high flier among the ski jumpers this season. The king of the skies won both individual titles in Sochi and also clinched the overall World Cup title in impressive style at the end of the season. He was beaten only to the title of ski flying world champion by Severin Freund (GER)* who finished third in the overall World Cup. In women's jumping it was Carina Vogt (GER)* who earned herself a place in the history books as the first female Olympic champion in ski jumping; she then rounded off a fantastic season with second place in the overall World Cup.
Top-ten women successful with Fischer
The biathletes had everyone on the edge of their seats right until the end. It was not until the very last race that things were decided: Kaisa Mäkäräinen (FIN)** was a mere four points in front of Tora Berger (NOR)*** and eight other Fischer athletes. In addition to the large crystal globe for the overall World Cup the Finn also won the small globes for the overall rankings in the disciplines sprint and pursuit. Darya Domracheva (BLR)** had to settle for third place in the overall World Cup in the end but was the outstanding athlete at the Olympic Games in Sochi with three gold medals. As double silver medallist in Sochi and fourth in the overall World Cup, Gabriela Soukalova (CZE)** also celebrated World Cup victory in the individual discipline. Turning to her male colleagues, it was Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR)* who drew attention to himself thanks to a strong final. With his hat-trick in the dress rehearsal for the World Championships next year in Kontiolahti (FIN) and his five World Cup victories in total he 'pushed his way forward in the end sprint' as it were to third place in the overall World Cup standings.
All in all the athletes in the Fischer Racing Team set the tone in all disciplines with 282 podium finishes and 90 of them on the top, 95 in second place and 97 in third. Boots in particular went from strength to strength. Whereas last winter 41% of the athletes on the podium were successful with Fischer boots, the figure climbed to 49% this year. This means that if you look at the season as a whole, virtually every second athlete on the podium made his or her way there with boots from the Nordic number one.
* Fischer skis
** Fischer skis and boots
*** Fischer skis, boots and poles