A snowy family idyll is not the only thing the Salzburger Saalachtal has to offer.
Roland Leitinger, the vice-world champion in giant slalom, learned to love skiing here. This sporting idol still feels connected to the local slopes here and always looks forward to returning home.
However, he was bitten by the skiing bug a long time ago. As a primary school student, he found the perfect location for training directly in front of his parents’ house on the valley meadows in St. Martin. “A baby lift 300 metres long that is no longer running nowadays. That I was able to dash around with my friends every day after school until the lift attendant turned it off was certainly an important foundation for my career,” Leitinger is convinced today.
Then there was the Skiing World Cup in St Anton. Being able to experience the international ski circus in his home country was a defining moment for the 10-year-old, who at the time had already successfully competed in regional and state cup races. “I imagined myself standing on the winner’s podium facing a flurry of flashbulbs.” 16 years later his dream has come true.
Leitinger’s goal for the coming season is to establish himself among the best skiers and to win World Cup races. His greatest dream is to win a gold medal at a top event. Even though the shooting star is on the road a lot, he always looks forward to returning home to enjoy time with his family, finding the nature of the Salzburger Saalachtal the perfect balance.