German World Cup racer Tobias Stechert has decided to end his ski racing career. The 31-year-old speed specialist, who started his racing career with Skiclub Oberstdorf and has been part of the squad of the German Ski Association (DSV) for 16 years, announced his decision on Thursday.
The speed skier wanted to attack the World Cup again last winter and qualify for the World Championships in St. Moritz, but persistent knee problems ended his season early with another injury last December.
In his 10-year World Cup career, Stechert was repeatedly thrown back by serious injuries. Even with his setbacks, including several knee operations, he repeatedly fought his way back to the World Cup. Last winter, however, the native of Fischen, Germany, was again injured while preparing for the home World Cup in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and had to finish the season early. The consequences of this injury led Stechert to end his career as an active ski racer.
“I have very often fought very hard to race again after my injury,” said Stechert. “Because racing is and remains my greatest passion. In recent months, however, I have become aware that I can no longer practice my sport at the highest level because of the many injuries. All those who have supported me in recent years, my trainers, the German Ski Association, the German Armed Forces, my sponsors, and especially my family, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Stechert took part in two World Championships during his career in 2011 and 2013 and started a total of 49 World Cup races in the disciplines of downhill, super-G and alpine combined. He achieved his best results with a fifth place in the downhill at Lake Louise in 2012 and seventh place in the downhill at Wengen in 2015. In all, he was able to reach the points at sixteen World Cup races.
Looking ahead to the next chapter of his life, Stechert will continue to maintain a presence in the sport. The German is currently training for the Trainer-A coaching license at the DSV coaching school. Also, since the beginning of the preparations for the coming season, he has supervised the junior team selection in his native Allgaeu region.
“With Tobias Stechert, an outstanding racing driver has finished his career,” says DSV Sports Director Wolfgang Maier. “Tobias has been on his way in the past several years to establishing himself in the top area of downhill skiing before being thrown back by serious injuries. Tobi, however, never let himself become discouraged and fought back again and again. We regret but respect his decision and we are very happy to know that Tobias will continue to be a coach in our ranks.”
Release courtesy of the German Ski Association