On this Day:
It is one thing to win an Olympic Gold medal. It is entirely another to capture Gold in all three alpine skiing events.
In 1968, Frenchman Jean Claude-Killy follows his wins in the downhill and slalom races with victory in the giant slalom at Grenoble Winter Olympics and becomes only the 2nd person to win all 3 alpine skiing Gold medals events, along with Toni Sailer.
At the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, the six alpine skiing events were held from Friday, 27 January to Friday, 3 February. Toni Sailer of Austria won all three men’s events to become the first alpine ski racer to win three gold medals in a single Olympics.
Jean-Claude Killy won the Triple Crown of Alpine Skiing with a sweep of all three Olympic gold medals (downhill, giant slalom, and slalom) in controversial circumstances at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. By finishing first in all races, he also captured the FIS world championship title in the combined event.
Anton Engelbert “Toni” Sailer (17 November 1935 – 24 August 2009) was considered among the best in the sport. At age 20, he won all three gold medals in alpine skiing at the 1956 Winter Olympics. He nearly duplicated the feat at the 1958 World Championships with two golds and a silver. He also won world titles both years in the combined, then a “paper” race, but awarded with medals by the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Born and raised in Kitzbühel in Tyrol, Sailer was nicknamed “Blitz from Kitz” (Blitz = German word for “bolt of lightning” or “flash”). A phenomenon as a teenager, he won the downhill and combined at the Grand Prix at Megève in 1952 at age 16. A broken leg caused him to miss the 1953 season and kept him from performing well at the World Championships in 1954. He returned to championship form in 1955 at age 19 and the following year became the first to win all three alpine skiing events at the Olympics, taking gold in the downhill, slalom, and giant slalom by 3.5, 4.2 and 6.2 seconds, respectively. He was the fifth athlete to win three gold medals in the same Olympic games, and became the most successful athlete at the 1956 Winter Olympics. The Super-G event did not exist until the 1980s. It was added to the Olympics in 1988. Through 2014, Sailer remained the youngest male gold medalist in Olympic alpine skiing.
Two years after the 1956 Olympics, Sailer won three gold medals and one silver at the 1958 World Championships in Bad Gastein, Austria. He won five of six possible Olympic/World Championship races, missing a perfect record with a silver in the Bad Gastein slalom, seven-tenths of a second back. Sailer also repeated as champion in the combined for a seventh world title in two years.
Jean-Claude Killy (born 30 August 1943) is a French former World Cup alpine ski racer. He dominated the sport in the late 1960s, and was a triple Olympic champion, winning the three alpine events at the 1968 Winter Olympics, becoming the most successful athlete there. He also won the first two World Cup titles, in 1967 and 1968.
Killy was the first World Cup champion in 1967, winning 12 of 17 races to easily take the overall title. He also won the season standings in each of the three “Classic” alpine disciplines; he won all five of the downhill races and four of the five giant slalom races.
The following year, Killy won the Triple Crown of Alpine Skiing with a sweep of all three Olympic gold medals (downhill, giant slalom, and slalom) at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. By finishing first in all races, he also captured the FIS world championship title in the combined event.
Electrical timing by Omega was accurate to one-hundredth of a second. Killy relied on his upper-body strength to hit the bar while already moving forward, giving himself a slight edge. This spectacular start appears to have helped him to beat his teammate Guy Perillat by a few hundredths in the Olympic downhill.
With the Olympic events included (for the only time) in the World Cup standings, Killy easily defended his title in 1968 as the overall champion, placing first in the giant slalom and second in the downhill and slalom season standings. He retired following the 1968 season, and moved to Geneva, Switzerland, in 1969 (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
As I got off at the top of the chairlift, I suddenly came to the realization that skiing is not for me.
It all went downhill from there…
Second, a Song:
Markus Eder (born 30 November 1990 in Bruneck) is an Italian freestyle skier. He was a participant at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
“Sometimes my mind goes kind of crazy about skiing and I ask myself, what if…?” – Markus Eder
What if you could link every powder turn, every rail, every cliff drop, every comp run and every kicker nailed into one ultimate run? Well, Markus Eder did just that in ‘The Ultimate Run’!
This is Markus’ Opus Magnum, a medley of face shots, massive tricks and even bigger drops, which was documented by Innsbruck based production company Legs of Steel over the past two years.
Markus has been visualizing the ultimate run since 2015. It may look like a simple undertaking in the final edit, but for arguably the most versatile skier on the planet, it meant taking his skill levels in every form and style of contemporary freeskiing to the next level.
“All aspects of freeskiing have fascinated me since the beginning”, states Markus.
The Ultimate Run kicks off on the lofty extremities of Zermatt as Markus drops into a sheer expanse of powder, before shredding his way through glacial blocks the size of buses, jumping off ice cliffs and then slips into the belly of the glacier, only to reappear above his home resort of Klausberg. Carving fields of fresh powder he joins a session with his buddies at his local snowpark, before boosting back off into the backcountry for some more face shots. The firecrackers keep on popping as he enters the snow covered architecture of Taufer castle and a mining museum. As the sun sets over the mountains Markus slides out onto the valley floor, six years of dream skiing condensed into ten minutes of pure joy and adrenaline.
This edit took over 90 days to film, entirely in the Alps in Markus’ home region. “The Ultimate Run is Markus’ dream project,” says Tobi Reindl from Legs of Steel, “and it also became one of the biggest and most thrilling projects we have done so far.”
With the first snow falling in the Alps, ‘The Ultimate Run’ is a must watch for all winter sports enthusiasts. It will reignite the passion for winter in even the most laid back snow fans for the coming season.
Here is Markus Eder’s Ultimate Run courtesy of YouTube.com. I hope you enjoy this!
Thought for the Day:
“To win, you have to risk loss.” – Jean-Claude Killy
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Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky