For several weeks, the FISI, in cooperation with the Gazzetta dello Sport, voted for Italy’s winter sportsman of the century. Now the results are out: Alberto Tomba won the election with 61% of the votes. The victory of the charismatic three-time Olympic champion comes as no surprise, even though he had to face another ski legend for first place, namely Gustav Thöni. 32% of winter sports fans voted for the five-time world champion and four-time overall World Cup winner from Trafoi.
Tomba and Thöni prevailed over all the other 30 athletes from a total of 15 winter sports disciplines, chosen by a commission of experts. The prizes were presented to the two skiing icons on Tuesday evening at a large gala in Milan.
Alberto Tomba retired at the end of the 1998 season, but not before winning a last World Cup race at the Finals at Crans-Montana where he grabbed the slalom, becoming the only alpine male skier to have won at least one World Cup race per year for 11 consecutive seasons.