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Exceptional snowboarder Ramona Hofmeister about to ride into the history books

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Exceptional snowboarder Ramona Hofmeister about to ride into the history books

As of: March 5, 2024 12:25 p.m

Germany’s best snowboarder Ramona Hofmeister can complete a historic success at the weekend in Winterberg and become the first German to win all three crystal balls in one season.

Hofmeister would crown a fantastic winter and ensure a historic triumph in the Snowboard World Cup. “It’s still surreal for me,” says the 27-year-old. By this she means the two crystal balls that she secured early, as overall World Cup winner and discipline winner in the parallel giant slalom.

Of the 13 races of the season so far, Hofmeister won five and was on the podium in three more, only missing out on the top 5 twice. And now the milestone is to follow on Saturday in Sauerland, the discipline success also in the parallel slalom, where she won the ranking clearly leading before the final.

Success for the history books

So far in snowboarding history, only the Swiss Patrizia Kummer in 2014 and Zan Kosir from Slovenia in 2015 had managed to win all three crystal balls in one season. And those were completely different times; there were only six races for women.

World Cup status: Women’s parallel slalom arrow right

In the past ten years, more and more nations have become involved in snowboarding, the sport has developed rapidly, and the level of performance has increased enormously. To be so consistently world class, especially in this environment, “that’s outstanding,” praises the German association sports director Andreas Scheid. Hofmeister is characterized by extraordinary determination. “She has an absolute will to win, can focus absolutely on what’s important and always performs until the end,” says Scheid. “The all-round package at Ramona is simply fantastic.”

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In addition, there is a capacity for suffering: the Olympic bronze medalist in Pyeongchang 2018 and two-time World Cup medalist repeatedly struggled with back problems throughout her career, including a herniated disc. This winter, thanks to clever training, she remained largely pain-free for the first time, she says.

Hopeful before the 2026 Olympics

In terms of constitution, the policewoman is Snowboard Germany’s most promising athlete for the next few years, when the highlights include the 2025 World Cup in Switzerland and the 2026 Olympics in Italy. “We still have a lot of plans for Ramona,” announces Scheid. Initially, however, the focus is only on Winterberg, which Hofmeister is really looking forward to. She is also a little sad that the actual season finale in Berchtesgaden, on the very slope where she stood on a snowboard for the first time as a little girl, was canceled due to a lack of snow. But the always good atmosphere in Winterberg makes up for a lot, reports Hofmeister.

World Cup overall winner

The first kings of winter have been announced

Good luck – hardly any sponsor interest

At her final coronation, the 27-year-old also wants to hide another annoyance. This year she is the most successful German winter athlete on snow, ahead of the athletes who are often spoiled for success in alpine skiing, Nordic skiing or biathlon. And yet for months there was no helmet sponsor for the best snowboarder of the winter. “If you win the first three races of the season and then another World Cup in January and nobody is interested in you, then that’s a bit sad,” says Hofmeister.

This is the fate of smaller disciplines in Germany that are hardly shown on television alongside the major sports. “We have so many competitors on the winter sports market,” says official Scheid, “and therefore not very visible.” The financial situation of many companies makes finding sponsors even more difficult. Hofmeister has now at least found a short-term supporter for the individual race on Saturday in Winterberg and the final team event the next day in Winterberg. The joy of the crystal balls should outshine the frustration of the sponsors.

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