US skier Lindsey Vonn proved the season's star once again, swiping four World Cup trophies including the prized overall title, while Austria found a new heart-throb in Marcel Hirscher.
Vonn, who lost out on the overall crystal globe last year to on-and-off friend Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, stole it back again in impressive fashion this year, with a nearly 600-point lead on her closest rival Tina Maze of Slovenia.
Along with it came the usual downhill, super-G and super-combined titles, bringing the 27-year-old's career total to a whopping 16 crystal globes, including four overalls.
Never one to settle on her laurels, Vonn added the women's record for a single season -- 1,980 points -- to her list of achievements, and a second place in the giant slalom World Cup standings, never before one of her strongest disciplines.
She just missed out however on the 2,000-point overall record set by Austrian legend Hermann Maier, a new goal for next year.
"I'm pretty focused on goals. I always feel I can do better," said Vonn, in tears after the last race, despite her amazing season.
"2,000 is a very large amount of points and it's really hard to accomplish."
"But I'm really going to try hard to beat the record next year."
This past season, the Olympics and former world champion scored 12 race victories, bringing her career total to 53, with 97 podium finishes.
And she has already said she is chasing Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell's record 62 World Cup wins and six overall trophies.
While the women's trophies were claimed by seasoned skiers -- including slalom queen Marlies Schild of Austria, who pocketed her fourth World Cup trophy in the discipline with six wins in 10 races -- the men's side discovered a new star in Hirscher.
A risk-taker who skims the slalom poles -- a fact that landed him in hot soup earlier this year after he was accused of knowingly continuing a race despite straddling a gate -- the native of Annaberg took the overall World Cup trophy and the giant slalom globe and finished third in the slalom standings in Schladming.
The 23-year-old skier with the wide smile and recognisable green ski hat secured nine World Cup victories this season, five in slalom and four in giant slalom.
A knee injury that took defending overall World Cup winner Ivica Kostelic out of the competition until just a week before the end-of-season finals also played in his favour.
But the Austrian showed he had nerves of steel when he got himself back in the race for the overall trophy with a surprising super-G podium place in Schladming, after Beat Feuz of Switzerland seemed to have it in the bag.
Hirscher's giant slalom title was the first of his career, followed just hours later by the news he had won the overall crystal globe with Feuz pulling out of the last race.
Among the new class, France's Alexis Pinturault proved a revelation with six podiums in four disciplines, while another Marcel from Austria -- Marcel Mathis -- has already made it twice onto the podium in 12 World Cup starts.
Source: AFP Global Edition