Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Remembering Toni Sailer

Anton Engelbert ‘Toni’ Sailer was born on November 17, 1935 in Kitzbuhl, Austria. During his youth he spent much time on the slopes learning to ski. In 1956 when Toni was 20 years-old, the World Championships and the Olympic Games were held together as one competition. Toni won Gold Medals in the downhill, slalom and giant slalom and combined. He was nicknamed the ‘Blitz from Kitz’. He was only the fifth athlete to ever win 3 gold medals in the same Olympic games. and is considered one of the best skiers the sport has ever produced. In the 1958 World Championships he again won the downhill, giant slalom and combined, and finished second in the slalom. Toni retired in 1959 and went on to appear in over 20 films and TV appearances, among them his only Euro-western "The Lost Treasure of the Aztecs" (1964). He also began a singing career recording 18 albums. From 1972-1976 he was the chief trainer of the Austrian Skiing Association. In 1985 he was selected by the International Olympic Committee to the Olympic Order. In 1999 he was named the ‘Austrian Sports Personality of the Century’. In 2008 Toni contracted laryngeal cancer and passed away from the disease on August 24, 2009 in Innsbruck, Austria. Today we remember Toni Sailer on what would have been his 75th birthday.

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