December 15, 2013 / 8:33 AM / 5 years ago

Olympic champion mother spurs Weirather to victory

ST MORITZ, Switzerland (Reuters) - Tina Weirather’s famous skiing genes inspired her to a second World Cup victory in St Moritz on Saturday.

First placed Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein (C), second placed Kajsa Kling of Sweden (L) and third placed Anna Fenninger of Austria pose on the podium after the Super-G race at the women's Alpine skiing World Cup competition at the Corviglia in the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The Liechtenstein speed specialist, winner of her maiden World Cup victory in Garmisch-Partenkirchen last year, was particularly delighted with her latest Super-G victory as she achieved it on her mother Hanni Wenzel’s birthday. Wenzel was a former Olympic, world and World Cup champion in the 1970s.

“Today, it was my goal to make this beautiful present to my mother. I don’t think that I could have hoped for a better victory. It was an almost perfect race. It was impossible for me to ski better,” said Weirather, whose father Harti was also a downhill world champion in 1982.

Since the start of the season, the 24-year-old has been one of the most solid skiers on the women’s circuit and she would have led the World Cup standings had she not been disqualified for wearing an irregular plastic arm protector in a downhill in Lake Louise earlier this month.

“I’ve already been on the podium 11 times in the past and I told myself it was about time I won a race again,” added Weirather, whose mother was crowned slalom world champion in the Swiss resort in 1974.

“Today everything went according to plan and yet it was not easy as I was still jet-lagged from the journey from America.”

Weirather became the first daughter of famous champions to win a World Cup race last season, emulating Germany’s Felix Neureuther in the men’s ranks.

However, despite her pedigree, Weirather had struggled to be consistent in the past.

“I don’t want people to be under the impression that it happened all of a sudden over the past month,” said the petite and technically skilled skier, who trains with the Swiss team.

“I already showed what I could do last year, especially in Garmisch, it’s a process that’s been going on for a year at least. I have worked hard for that.”

She is also keen to prove herself at February’s Sochi Olympics as she missed the 2010 Vancouver Games after suffering torn ligaments.

At the time, her father Harti, though a speed specialist himself, had insisted she stopped competing in the downhills.

She chose to ignore his words of wisdom and will arrive in Sochi as one of the favorites the Super-G and the downhill.

Reporting by Manuele Lang, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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