Tina Maze Won Super Combined Event and Crystal Globe!
Slovenian ski star Tina Maze has secured her first crystal globe for victory in the World Cup overall standings with Sunday's win in the super combined event in Meribel.
The 29-year-old Maze became the first Slovenian to win the overall crystal globe in Alpine skiing by bagging her eighth World Cup win of the season and 19th of her career.
"I'm proud and satisfied that I have achieved my goals. Everything I have gone through in my career has been rewarded," Maze reacted to news of the World Cup title.
Maze, who led after the downhill leg of the event and retained her lead in the slalom, won Sunday's super combined event by a margin of 0.82 seconds over Austria's Nicole Hosp. Michaela Kirchgasser of Austria was third, 0.9 seconds adrift.
"I did not hit the piste today thinking about the crystal globe, but about skiing well and staying focused all the way. Other things are not important then," the Slovenian said.
"Some may think I have achieved the impossible, but that is not the case. If I believed that, I would not have achieved what I have," she added.
The World Cup title for Maze comes with nine races to go in the season. Her tally of 1,844 points is more than double that of her nearest pursuer, Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany (886).
The only other Slovenian winner of the overall crystal globe in winter sports is ski jumper Primož Peterka, who won World Cup titles in 1997 and 1998.
Her historic feat comes only a week after she won one gold and two silver medals at the World Championships, with which she became Slovenia's winningest Alpine skier of all time.
Maze's coach, Andrea Massi, hailed the achievements of Slovenia's most successful skier of all time. We have Mt Triglav, now we've climbed the Everest of skiing, Massi said after today's race.
"This an extraordinary feat - for the whole time, but for Tina especially. We're still incapable of understanding just how big this is," said Massi.
Assessing that it will take some time for the nature of the feat to sink in, Massi hailed Maze's transformation from an accomplished giant slalom skier to an excellent all-around competitor.
"As far that goes, Tina has done a phenomenal job throughout her career. She worked with her head and secured top-notch results in the fast disciplines."
Prime Minister Janez Janša joined the chorus of praise for Slovenia's top skier in a cable of congratulations. "We are proud to have been able to cheer for you," the prime minister said.
"You have set new frontiers in skiing on a global level. With your achievements your are an inspiration to all Slovenians and living proof that, with hard work, all barriers can be surpassed."