OSV Celebrates Two Ski Legends

Ernst Vettori and Günther Mader shaped Austrian winter sports in the 1980s and 1990s. The two athletes won numerous World Championship medals and celebrated gold and bronze respectively at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.

Ernst Vettori – Olympic champion and ÖSV veteran

For many years, Ernst Vettori, together with his teammate and still close friend Andreas Felder, ensured an era of success in Austrian ski jumping. In the course of his career, Vettori stood on the World Cup podium a total of 53 times and celebrated 15 World Cup victories. He also won the Four Hills Tournament twice and became world champion with the team. However, Vettori's greatest success by far came at the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville (FRA). After being in third place after the first round, "Vektl" catapulted himself to the top in the final and secured the gold medal on the normal hill. Aside from his successes, Ernst Vettori was particularly popular due to his authentic and humorous manner. Numerous anecdotes and quotes, such as " When the birds see me flying, they prefer to walk," are still happily recited and rehashed to this day.

A life for skiing

Even after his career, Ernst Vettori remained loyal to Nordic skiing. From the end of the 1990s, he worked in the marketing department of the Austrian Ski Association before succeeding Toni Innauer as Nordic Director in 2010, a position he held for eight years. Ernst Vettori remains an important part of the Ski Austria family to this day and works in the sponsorship and partner management department.

Greatest successes:

  • Olympic champion on the normal hill in Albertville (1992)
  • Team silver at the Olympic Games in Albertville (1992)
  • 15 World Cup victories
  • 53 World Cup podiums
  • Five-time World Championship medalist (1x gold, 1x silver, 3x bronze)
  • Two-time Four Hills Tournament winner (1985/86 and 1986/87)

On June 25th, the Olympic champion celebrated his 60th birthday.

Günther Mader – master of all disciplines

Günther Mader wrote skiing history with his downhill victory in 1996 in Kitzbühel. Not only because he triumphed on the world-famous Streif, but because he was the first (and to date only) Austrian to win World Cup races in all five alpine disciplines (downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, combined). This illustrious circle includes only four other all-time greats of alpine skiing: Pirmin Zurbriggen (SUI), Marc Girardelli (LUX), Kjetil-Andre Aamodt (NOR) and Bode Miller (USA).

The talent of the Tyrolean boy from the Gries am Brenner ski club was discovered early on. The all-rounder first came into the spotlight in 1982 in Aurun, France, when he was crowned Junior World Champion in the giant slalom. In the same year, Mader entered the Ski World Cup, which he was to play a key role in for 16 years. His career was also closely linked to the name Robert Trenkwalder, who was always at the side of the exceptional talent as a sponsor and trusted coach during his 14 World Cup victories.

A stroke of fate after the career

Mader celebrated his greatest victory when, after suffering a stroke in 1998, just two weeks after retiring from the skiing world, he mastered the consequences of this stroke of fate with flying colors and found his way back to life. The Tyrolean had to relearn how to walk, run and count, and he also lost 85 percent of his vocabulary.

After his successful rehabilitation, the popular skiing legend returned to the skiing world as racing director for Salomon and is still closely connected to skiing today.

Greatest successes:

  • Only Austrian with victories in all disciplines
  • Olympic bronze downhill in Albertville (1992)
  • Six-time World Championship medalist (1 x silver, 5 x bronze)
  • 14 World Cup victories
  • Twice second in the overall World Cup (1994/95 and 1995/96)
  • Discipline winner in RTL (1989/90) & Combination (1995/96)
  • Junior World Champion Giant Slalom 1982

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