Ingemar Stenmark

The Most Successful Alpine Skier in History

The most successful Alpine ski racer in history, Ingemar Stenmark eventually won 86 World Cup races. Only one other skier has won even half that many. During the 1978-1979 season, Stenmark won 13 World Cup races, setting a record that no man has beaten. However, in September 1979, Stenmark took a bad fall during a downhill training session and received a major concussion.

He was back in shape for the 1980 Olympics five months later, but he skipped the downhill. Back in 1976, Stenmark had earned a bronze medal in the giant slalom after lying in only eighth place after the first run. In the same event in Lake Placid, Stenmark was third after the first run. His second run time was almost a second faster than the other skiers and he won the gold medal by three quarters of a second. Three days later, he came from behind again in the slalom, moving from fourth to first place with a great.