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Encyclopedia > Franz Klammer
Olympic medal record
Men’s Skiing
Gold 1976 Innsbruck Downhill

Franz Klammer (born December 3, 1953) is a former Austrian ski racer who dominated the downhill event throughout much of the mid to late 1970s. He won a gold medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. The 1976 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XII Olympic Winter Games, were held in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria. ... December 3 is the 337th (in leap years the 338th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... The downhill is an alpine skiing discipline. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1976 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XII Olympic Winter Games, were held in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria. ... Innsbruck is a city in western Austria, and the capital of the federal state of Tyrol. ...

Contents

Background

Franz Klammer was born in Mooswald, Carinthia, Austria, to a farming family. Like many alpine farm boys he grew up on skiis, skiing to school each winter day. He had a tough struggle to make the Austrian National ski team, dominated as it was by the provinces of Tyrol and Salzburg. From his World Cup debut at age 19 to his retirement at age 30, he spent 12 seasons on the World Cup circuit (1972-84). Carinthia (Kärnten in German, Koroška in Slovenian) can refer to: Carinthia - a federal state of Austria Carinthia - an informal province in Slovenia Carinthia - a duchy of the Holy Roman Empire and crownland of Austria_Hungary Karantania - the first Slovenian state This is a disambiguation page — a navigational... The Tyrol is a historical region in Western Central Europe, which includes the Austrian state of Tyrol (consisting of North Tyrol and East Tyrol) and the Italian regions known as the South Tyrol and Trentino. ... Salzburg is a city in western Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg (population 150,000 in 2006). ...


Career

Klammer first showed signs of promise in the second half of the '72/'73 season finishing second in the St.Anton downhill behind Russi. He followed this up with a third at St. Moritz and a Giant Slalom third at Quebec (Mont Ste. Anne?). The following season he finished second in the downhill standings behind Rolland Collombin, his nemesis that season. After besting Collombin at Schladming under terrible conditions, Collombin in turn bested him at Garmisch, Avoriaz and Wengen. At Val d'Isere in December of '74 Collombin fell for a second time. He had fallen here the year before. This time he broke his back, ending his career. Klammer won that race and every other downhill that season, except Megeve, where his ski came off. 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 blistering pace. Klammer, starting 15th knew what he had to do. He took unbelievable risks, skiing on the edge of disaster on the treacherous course and won. It was perhaps the most spectacular downhill run ever. Although the overall World Cup title remained elusive because the technical specialists had two events in which to earn points (Slalom and Giant Slalom) whereas a downhill specialist had only the one. At the end of the 1974/75 season, despite having won 8 out of 9 downhills he finished third for the overall World Cup title. The second speed event, the Super G, was not a World Cup event until December 1982. The 1976 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XII Olympic Winter Games, were held in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria. ... Bernhard Russi (born August 20, 1948 in Andermatt). ... The alpine skiing World Cup is a circuit of alpine skiing competitions regulated by the International Ski Federation (FIS). ... The Super Giant Slalom is an alpine skiing discipline. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Klammer won the World Cup downhill title 5 times: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1983, twice more than the next best downhiller. In the 1974/75 season he won 8 of 9 World Cup downhill races, including his first of three consecutive victories at the Hahnenkamm at Kitzbühel. The alpine skiing World Cup is a circuit of alpine skiing competitions regulated by the International Ski Federation (FIS). ... The downhill is an alpine skiing discipline. ... The alpine skiing World Cup is a circuit of alpine skiing competitions regulated by the International Ski Federation (FIS). ... The downhill is an alpine skiing discipline. ... The Hahnenkamm is a mountain above Kitzbühel, Austria, in the Kitzbühel Alps. ... Kitzbühel is a medieval city in Tyrol, Austria, situated along the river Kitzbühler Ache. ...


After his fourth consecutive World Cup Downhill title (1977/78), he began a prolonged slump until the end of the 1980/81 season, probably affected by his brother's spinal cord injury in a downhill race as well as a change of ski supplier. Unable to make the strong Austrian team, Klammer could not defend his Olympic downhill title at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Rather than retire, he worked long and hard at a comeback. Finally in December 1981 he won Val d'Isere. The following season he regained the World Cup Downhill title, his fifth, followed by the 1984 Hanekamm, At the 1984 Games in Sarajevo, (then Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Herzegovina), Klammer finished a disappointing tenth, on a less than challenging course. At his peak, ( Wengen/'76 to Wengen/'77 ) he won ten consecutive downhills, including the spectacular, pressure-laden win at the 1976 Olympics. He won 8 of 9 during the 1974/75 season. He also won 19 of 23, 20 of 26 and 21 of 29 downhills. His career total is 26 downhill wins: 25 World Cup, 1 Olympic. He is the greatest dowhill racer ever. Nobody else even comes close. The great Karl Schranz won 20 downhills over a very long career. Klammer won 19 over two and a half seasons. The 1980 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIII Olympic Winter Games, were held in 1980 in Lake Placid, New York, United States of America. ... The 1984 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIV Olympic Winter Games, were held in 1984 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yugoslavia. ... Nickname: Olympic City Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) Coordinates: Country Bosnia and Herzegovina Entity Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina&Republika Srpska Canton Sarajevo Canton Mayor Semiha Borovac Area    - City 142 km²  (493 sq mi)  - Land 1,277 sq km km² Elevation 500 m  (1640. ... Yugoslavia (Jugoslavija in Latin, Југославија in Cyrillic, English: Land of the South Slavs) describes four political entities that existed one at a time on the Balkan Peninsula in Europe, during most of the 20th century. ...


In an interview with Austrian television in 2006, the 52-year-old Klammer was asked about his greatest achievement. He answered that although his gold medal at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck was generally regarded as his greatest career achievement, winning the Kitzbühel in 1984 meant something very special to him, considering he hadn't won there since 1977. ORF (Österreichischer Rundfunk) is the National Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. ... 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Hahnenkamm is a mountain above Kitzbühel, Austria, in the Kitzbühel Alps. ... 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Legacy

Franz Klammer was a hero to Austrian ski racing fans and also to fans the world over. Known as the Kaiser and also as the "Klammer Express" he did a great deal to promote the popularity of alpine ski racing. Kaiser is the German title meaning Emperor. ...


References & Links

  • KLAMMER. Franz International Who's Who. accessed September 4, 2006.
  • FIS-ski.com - Franz Klammer - World Cup results
  • Ski-db.com - Franz Klammer - results
  • Books with references and insights into Franz Klammer's career: "White Circus" by Ken Read/Matthew Fisher, also "On the Edge" by Currie Chapman/Randy Starkman
Persondata
NAME Klammer, Franz
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION downhill skier
DATE OF BIRTH December 3, 1953
PLACE OF BIRTH Mooswald, Austria
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH

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