22 Facts About Franz Klammer


Franz Klammer was born on 3 December 1953 and is a former champion alpine ski racer from Austria.


Franz Klammer was the gold medalist at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, winning the downhill at Patscherkofel by a margin of 0.33 seconds with a time of 1:45.73.


Franz Klammer won 25 World Cup downhills, including four on the Hahnenkamm at Kitzbuhel.


Franz Klammer holds the record for the most victories on the full course at Kitzbuhel.


Franz Klammer started racing at the relatively late age of 14, competing in the winter whilst working on the family farm during the summer after he dropped out of school.


Franz Klammer had a tough struggle to make the Austrian ski team, traditionally dominated by the states of Tyrol and Salzburg.


Franz Klammer made his World Cup debut at the age of 19 in 1972 at the Val Gardena downhill: he finished ninth in the training run for the race, but could only manage 32nd place on race day due to nerves.


Franz Klammer spent 13 seasons on the World Cup circuit, from December 1972 to March 1985.


Franz Klammer has been married to his wife, Eva, since 1979: the couple met in 1975 when he was in Tunisia at a fitness camp with the Austrian ski team.


Franz Klammer first showed signs of promise in the second half of the 1973 World Cup season, finishing second in the St Anton downhill behind Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, the reigning Olympic and World Cup downhill champion.


Franz Klammer won every downhill in the 1975 season, except Megeve, where one of his skis came off.


Franz Klammer took heavy risks on the treacherous piste, skied on the edge of disaster and won by 0.33 seconds to the delight of the Austrian fans.


The final event was a parallel slalom and Franz Klammer lost in the first round.


Franz Klammer finished fourth overall in 1976, third in 1977, and fifth in 1978.


Franz Klammer won a fourth in 1984, at the age of 30.


At his peak, Franz Klammer won ten consecutive downhills, including the pressure-laden win at the 1976 Olympics.


Franz Klammer won 8 of 9 during the 1975 season and won 19 of 23,20 of 26 and 21 of 29 downhills.


Franz Klammer answered that although his gold medal at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck was generally regarded as his greatest career achievement, winning at Kitzbuhel in 1984 meant something very special to him, considering he hadn't won there in seven years.


Franz Klammer finished with 26 World Cup victories, 45 podiums and 87 top ten finishes.


Immediately after his retirement from alpine competition, Franz Klammer took up motor racing, and was involved in touring car racing, driving Mercedes-Benz saloons all over Europe and racing professionally as far away as Australia.


In 1990, Franz Klammer won a round of the prestigious European Touring Car Championship.


Franz Klammer was a hero to Austrian ski racing fans and to fans the world over for doing a great deal to promote the popularity of alpine ski racing.