Maria Höfl-Riesch (German pronunciation: [maʁiːaː høːfl ʁiːʃ]; née Riesch, born 24 November 1984) is a former German World Cup alpine ski racer. She is a three-time Olympic champion, two-time world champion, and an overall World Cup champion.
Höfl-Riesch made her World Cup debut in February 2001 and won gold medals in slalom and super combined at the 2010 Winter Olympics. She won the World Cup overall title in 2011. At the 2014 Winter Olympics, she defended her super combined title to win her third Olympic gold medal, and also won a silver medal in the super-G.
Born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Höfl-Riesch was a prodigious talent as a junior and won seven medals in all of the disciplines at four Junior World Championships, including three gold medals in combined and super-G.
As the racing careers of Martina Ertl-Renz and Hilde Gerg concluded, Höfl-Riesch rose as the leading female racer on the German national team. Injuries cut short her seasons in 2005 and 2006, causing her to miss the 2005 World Championships and the 2006 Winter Olympics.
During the 2009 season, Höfl-Riesch won four slalom events on the World Cup tour and won the gold medal in the slalom at the World Championships. Prior to 2009, her most successful season was in 2004, when she finished third in the overall World Cup standings, with three race victories. She also finished third in the overall standings in 2008. In the 2007 season she won her second downhill race, at Lake Louise, Canada.
Riesch won two gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics, in the super combined and slalom. After finishing second in the overall World Cup standings in 2009 and 2010, Riesch built a big lead early in the 2011 season which was enough to win the overall title, besting three-time defending champion Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. by just three points. At the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, Vonn took the overall lead after the downhill, then Riesch reclaimed it after the slalom; the super-G and giant slalom races were cancelled due to poor conditions. She retired after the 2014 season after crashing in the downhill World Cup Final.
Höfl-Riesch is also a nationally ranked tennis player and a cyclist. Her younger sister, Susanne Riesch, is also a former World Cup ski racer, specializing in the slalom. She is a chief constable in the Bundeszollverwaltung (German Federal Customs Service) and a member of the custom service ski team.
One of her closest friends (and major rival) on the World Cup tour was Lindsey Vonn of the United States.
Höfl-Riesch married her manager Marcus Höfl on 14 April 2011.
At a height of 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in), she was one of the tallest women on the World Cup circuit.
World Cup results
- 6 titles – (1 overall, 1 downhill, 1 super-G, 2 slalom, 1 combined)
- 27 wins – (11 DH, 3 SG, 9 SL, 4 SC) + 1 NTE
(1 DH, 1 SG, 1 SL)
|30 Jan 2004||Haus im Ennstal, Austria||Downhill|
|1 Feb 2004||Super-G|
|29 Feb 2004||Levi, Finland||Slalom|
|2007||1 Dec 2006||Lake Louise, Canada||Downhill|
(1 SG, 1 SC)
|21 Jan 2008||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Super-G|
|24 Feb 2008||Whistler, Canada||Super combined|
(4 SL, 1 SC)
|14 Dec 2008||La Molina, Spain||Slalom|
|29 Dec 2008||Semmering, Austria||Slalom|
|4 Jan 2009||Zagreb, Croatia||Slalom|
|11 Jan 2009||Maribor, Slovenia||Slalom|
|20 Feb 2009||Tarvisio, Italy||Super combined|
(1 SL, 2 DH)
|14 Nov 2009||Levi, Finland||Slalom|
|30 Jan 2010||St. Moritz, Switzerland||Downhill|
|10 Mar 2010||Garmisch, Germany||Downhill|
(3 DH, 1 SL, 1 SC,
1 SG, 1 NTE)
|3 Dec 2010||Lake Louise, Canada||Downhill|
|4 Dec 2010||Downhill|
|11 Jan 2011||Flachau, Austria||Slalom|
|22 Jan 2011||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Downhill|
|25 Feb 2011||Åre, Sweden||Super combined|
|27 Feb 2011||Super-G|
|20 Mar 2011||Lenzerheide, Switzerland||Team event|
(1 DH, 1 SL, 1 SC)
|29 Jan 2012||St. Moritz, Switzerland||Super combined|
|18 Feb 2012||Sochi, Russia||Downhill|
|10 Mar 2012||Åre, Sweden||Slalom|
|2013||10 Nov 2012||Levi, Finland||Slalom|
|6 Dec 2013||Lake Louise, Canada||Downhill|
|7 Dec 2013||Downhill|
|24 Jan 2014||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Downhill|
World Championship results
|2005||20||injured, did not compete|
|2006||21||injured, did not compete|