Neureuther: “family circle” is closing down

Neureuther: 'family circle' is closing down

"It’s good not to be teased at home by your father," he said with a smile on a "momentous day". "But in the end it doesn’t matter at all. Unfortunately, dad was not able to win a medal at a major event. I have now achieved this, from which I think it has closed the family circle very well."

The parents who watched the slalom silver medal on their TV sets at home were pleased to see this bavarian television broadcast on sunday evening. Felix neureuther responds respectfully to questions about family ties. The parents, rosi mittermaier and christian neureuther, themselves do not like to say anything about the 28-year-old, who competed for the first time in a world championship ten years ago as the son of the two skiing greats. After initially difficult years, however, he increasingly shed this image. And when, after one of his four world cup victories so far, a child pointed at rosi mittermaier and said, "that’s felix’s mother," the 1976 double olympic champion was delighted.

"It wasn’t always easy for our children to be constantly referred to us. That’s why we held back in all the races, because otherwise the loudspeaker announcement would have come that rosi mittermaier was standing at the finish line. It’s not funny for such a boy," his mother once said. "When you hear that I’m felix’s mother and not that he’s rosi’s son, that’s the best thing."The name neureuther opened a lot of doors for felix, but at times it was also a heavy burden for him. He was constantly asked about the past. Once it was annoying, then he accepted it, now he speaks proudly about it.

"I think that also has to do with a process of maturity and development," neureuther said in a dpa interview during the world championships. "I believe that i have developed so independently as an athlete and am perceived as felix, that this is also credibly ruberbringen."He really doesn’t have to hide behind the family members with his sporting achievements. "He’s an athlete in his own right, but the name connects generations," alpine director wolfgang maier said on monday. "In the older generation the names rosi mittermaier and christian neureuther, in the younger ones the felix is the better known personality."

After his appearance in the german house, felix neureuther went out on the slope with the slalom boys around marcel hirscher – but to celebrate. Unlike in 2007, when he was eliminated in the final as the runner-up in the first run, or in 2009, when he ultimately came fourth and lost out on a medal, or in 2011, when the pressure of expectations at the world championships at home was too great, this time neureuther was able to join in the celebrations as a medal winner. And he was the first in the house since the mother.

Another comparison with the past could be made soon – and this one has only sportive reasons. With three slalom victories in the world cup and a total of 16 podium finishes in this discipline, he is ranked third in the german ranking led by armin bittner (7 victories, a total of 18 podium finishes). Right in front of him: papa christian with 6 victories and a total of 20 podium places in the goal race.

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