Franz Klammer, Talk:Franz Klammer
(born December 3
) is a former Austria
who dominated the downhill
event throughout much of the mid to late 1970s
. He won a gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics
Klammer was born in Mooswald
, to a farming family. Given the opportunity to take up skiing he became adept very quickly, making his debut in the World Cup skiing competition in 1972 at the age of 19.
At the 1976 Winter Olympics
Klammer won the gold medal in the downhill by 0.33 seconds from defending champion Bernhard Russi
, who had gone out before him and set a challenging target. The fact that Klammer was the last of the 15 competitors to go out, meant that his win on the treacherous course was even more remarkable.
Although the overall World Cup title remained elusive (largely because of skiers like Ingemar Stenmark
and Klammer's concentration on the downhill), he won the World Cup downhill title 5 times—more than anyone else in the history of the sport. His wins were in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1983. The 1975 season was memorable in that he won 8 out of the 9 World Cup downhill races.
At the 1984 Winter Olympics
(Bosnia and Herzegovina
) Klammer could not repeat his triumphs of the past and finished in 10th place.
In an interview with Austrian television
in 2006, Franz Klammer was asked about his greatest achievement. He answered that although his gold medal at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck was generally regarded as greatest achievement in his career, winning in Kitzbühel
meant something very special for him, considering the fact that he had not managed to win this race for seven years in a row.
Klammer was a very popular skier, not only in Austria, but in other parts of the world when skiing
was developing a large following. He had a variety of nicknames including The Klammer Express
and The Austrian Astronaut
. He certainly helped promote the sport of skiing and was an exciting draw for television. He retired from skiing in 1985 having won 25 World Cup downhill events.
* http://www.worldwhoswho.com/views/entry.html?id=kla-klr-161202-1411 KLAMMER. Franz
International Who's Who. accessed September 4
Footer Olympic Champions Downhill
Footer World Champions Downhill
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|PLACE OF BIRTH=Mooswald
|DATE OF DEATH=
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