Simon Ammann

Ski Jump Surprise

Ski jumper Simon Ammann was one of the least expected winners of the Salt Lake City Winter Games. When he was 16 years old, he competed at the 1998 Nagano Olympics, placing 35th in the normal hill event and 39th on the large hill. Ammann entered the 2002 Olympics without ever having won a World Cup event.

His best result ever on the normal hill was 26th place. Nevertheless, at the Salt Lake City Games, he put together two superb jumps to edge Sven Hannawald for the victory by one and a half points. Four days later, Ammann proved that his victory was not a fluke by earning a second gold medal on the large hill. This time he recorded the best jump in each round to win by more than 11 points.