Heidi Zacher tore her cruciate ligament in 2007 and even broke her shinbone in 2012. "We in Skicross are just a little harder," says Zacher with a grin. Lately, however, she has remained largely injury-free - and has collected more successes than ever before.
Last winter, she celebrated three of her five World Cup victories so far and - weakened by a virus - only missed a wafer-thin medal in fourth place at the World Championships. She wanted to get it this winter at the Olympics in South Korea. And the chances were great: In the World Cups at the end of 2017, she finished on the podium four times (1 victory, 3 times second). Then the shock of January. Heidi Zacher's cruciate ligament broke again during training: Olympic exit.
Skicross is technically even more demanding than normal alpine skiing, with which the Lenggrieserin once started her career as a child. Over a spectacular parcours with jumps, waves and steep curves four women chase towards the goal.
In this sport not only an outstanding ski technique and top material is in demand, but also a clever tactic and assertiveness in the fight woman against woman. Zacher is not squeamish and has mastered the game perfectly in the meantime - but also has to suffer hard injuries again and again.
This also applies financially, of course. The 6,000 Swiss francs for the 2nd place in the World Cup are already a great reward for Zacher, whose head sponsor is a traditional costume company (Angermaier). It is also sponsored by the Deutsche Sporthilfe (German Sports Aid). Also in terms of social media fans - on Facebook(approx. 2000 Likes) and Instagram (approx. 1000 followers) - Zacher is clearly in the shadow of the German freeski icon Lisa Zimmermann.
But this is also due to the fact that Zacher does much more than skiing.
She successfully completed her Master's degree in General Management last year. She also works quite normally as an employee at Raiffeisenbank. As the only athlete in the German Olympic team, she may not be a full-time professional. "In addition to sport, I also need a challenge for my head," says Zacher. "I not only want to focus on sport, but also be well prepared for my professional future."
Heidi Zacher lives in two worlds - between a tough battle on skis and customer service in a bank. The advantage: The passionate stand-up paddler knows exactly how to invest the rewards for her World Cup successes profitably.
Where does skicross globetrotter Heidi Zacher prefer to go on vacation? "My physical vacation is work in the bank. Besides, I like being home once in a while.
Actually we live here in Lenggries in paradise, other people come here to spend their holidays. I can recover just as well at home," she said in an interview with SZ.