At Sochi this year, with his bronze in the Super-G event, he already became the oldest Alpine Skiing medalist in history, at 36. That also made him the second-most decorated alpine skier ever at the Olympics, with 6 medals, which puts him also as the best U.S. skier of all-time. Add on to that his 33 career World Cup titles, 5 World Championship medals, and 2 overall World Cup season championships over his 16 seasons, and he can rest assured of his place in skiing lore.
So what to make of his deal with Dainese? Obviously, he has some competitions left in him. The 2015 Worlds are coming up in Vail, and he likely has some medal sights there for his 17th World Cup season. Beyond that, who knows? Maybe his deal will just be about assisting with research and development when we get closer to 2018, but I'm guessing - despite his tweet chastising the rumor mill - he's leaving the door open. Even at 40, I wouldn't put it past him to have the drive and interest to make another run. Sochi certainly did feel like a finale for his career, but I, for one, am hoping not...he's always been the leader and the entertaining anchor of the team and sport coverage. But I'm willing to take it one season, or race, at a time. As I imagine he is, too.