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10 Greatest Skiers of All Time

We’ve help all sorts of skiers from freestyle to alpine to cross country raise money on PledgeSports.  All the below are retired so unfortunately we won’t see any of the these legends ski at Beijing 2022, but maybe after this years Winter Olympics, we will see some new names on this list.

Here’s our pick of the 10 Greatest Skiers of all time.

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Bode Miller – USA


Bode Miller is an Olympic and World Champion, a two-time overall World Cup champion in 2005 and in 2008, and the most successful male American ski racer of all-time. He is considered as one of the greatest World cup racers with 33 victories and he is only one of five men to win World Cups in all five disciplines.

His ability to speak his mind, love of partying and failure to tow the US team line, and rebelling against the stereotypical all-American image of a sporting hero has got him into some hot scraps with the US press over the years.

He officially retired from ski racing in October 2017,

Most famous quote: “My goal is to ski as fast as the natural universe will allow.”

Ingemar Stenmark – Sweden


Ingemar Stenmark is a former World Cup ski racer from Sweden. He is regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish athletes ever and as the greatest slalom and giant slalom specialist of all time. He remains one of the greatest skiers of all time with 86 wins in international races. Stenmark retired in 1989.

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Most famous quote: “I ski to win. When the day comes that I can’t get myself into a fighting mood anymore, I won’t be able to win and I’ll stop racing.”

Cross Country skiing was the only sport to make our list of fittest and Ultimate Endurance sports.

Lindsey Vonn – USA


Lindsey Vonn is an American World Cup alpine ski racer and she has won a remarkable four World Cup overall championships, and also she won the gold medal in the downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics, the first-ever in the event for an American woman. In 2016, she won her 20th World Cup crystal globe title – an all-time record among men or women, passing Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden, who won 19 globes from 1975 to 1984.

Vonn retired in 2019, due to injuries.

Most famous quote:  “I’m never tired of winning, and I’m never tired of skiing.”

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Hermann Maier – Austria


His 54 World Cup race victories – 24 super-G, 15 downhills, 14 giant slaloms, and 1 combined – rank second on the men’s all-time list behind Stenmark’s 86 victories. As of 2013, he holds the record for the most points in one season by a male alpine skier, from 2000–2013, he also held the title of most points in one season by any alpine skier, with 2000 points from the 2000 season.

Maier retired in 2009 at 36 years old.

Most famous quote: “Ski racing, especially downhill, is a dangerous activity and there are many accidents. It would be really too bad to lose everything because of a crash.”

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 Jean-Claude Killy – France


Also known as Gillete, He was a triple Olympic champion, winning the three alpine events at the 1968 Olympics, becoming the most successful athlete there. He also won the first two World Cup titles, in 1967 and 68. Gillete retired after the 1968 ski season.

Most famous quote: “Winning tastes good. To win, you have to risk loss.”

Janica Kostelic – Croatia


Kostelić is the only woman to win four gold medals in alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics and the only woman to win three alpine skiing gold medals in one Olympics in 2002.  On 5 February 2006 Kostelić became the second female skier to win all five disciplines in one season.  She retired in 2007.

Most famous quote: “It’s just a race. Just like every other one. You have some good days and some bad days.”

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Vreni Schneider – Switzerland


Schneider made her World Cup debut at the age of 20, she won the overall Alpine Skiing World Cup three times and eleven discipline World Cups in the Slalom and the Giant Slalom. She is the most successful alpine ski racer of her country, the third most successful female ski racer ever.

Schneider retired in 1995.

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Franz Klammer – Austria


Klammer was a hero to Austrian ski racing fans and also to fans the world over for doing a great deal to promote the popularity of alpine ski racing. He is known as “The Kaiser” and also as the “Klammer Express.”

He 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.

Klammer retired in 1985 at 31 years old.

Most famous quote: “During the technical sections of a Downhill I have to concentrate, but during the long straight gliding bits I tend to think about what I am going to do with my wife tonight – it helps me to go faster.”

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Alberto Tomba – Italy


At 6 ft tall and 90 kg, his powerful build was a contrast to the lighter, more traditional technical skiers who prioritised agility over muscle, however, Tomba was able to take advantage of the introduction of spring-loaded ski gates which replaced the older, solid gates in the early 1980s by using his power to maintain a faster, more direct line through courses.

Tomba was regarded as one of the greatest skiers of all time, he won three Olympic gold medals, two World Championships, and nine World Cup season titles: four in slalom, four in giant slalom, and one overall title.

Tomba retired at the end of the 1998 season in victory, becoming the only alpine male skier to have won at least one World Cup race per year for 11 consecutive seasons.

Most famous quote: “I wish Sochi had a character like me on the slopes.”

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Kjetil Andre Aamodt – Norway


Described as an all-round alpine skier, Aamodt participated in all alpine skiing disciplines in the World Cup and World Championships and is one of only 5 male alpine skiers to have won a World Cup race in all five disciplines. As quoted by his fans – “Both the youngest and oldest male alpine skier to win a gold medal at the Olympics… Says it all.”, We award him a worthy place in our list of the greatest skiers of all time.

Aamodt retired in 2007.

Most famous quote: “Maybe I should have shaved…” after losing to Tommy Moe by 0.04 seconds on Norwegian soil in the Olympic Downhill at Lillehammer in 1994.

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Hope you enjoyed our blog – on the greatest skiers of all time.  Head over to our blog for lots more fun sports trivia

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