Ice Sports

Alpine Legends: 22 Best Skiers of All Time

By Dipak BK / 6 December 2023 07:40 AM

Source : facebook

Alpine Skiing is a winter sport that involves sliding downhill on snow-covered slopes with "fixed heel binding skis". It has been a part of the Winter Olympics since 1936.

It is governed by the International Ski Federation,  founded after the first Slalom event in 1922 organized by Sir Arnold Lunn. Events associated with Alpine Skiing are Slalom(SL), Giant Slalom(GS), Super Giant Slalom(SG), Downhill(DH), and combined events(CE).

Swedish alpine ski racer Ingemar Stenmark is considered to be the greatest slalom and giant slalom specialist ever. He had a record of 86 World Cup Wins until Mikaela Shiffrin passed the record in March 2023 with her 87th win. 

Ingemar Stenmark

Ingemar Stenmark is a Swedish-born former alpine Ski racer. He is considered to be one of the most salient Swedish athletes ever. 

Source : pin

In 1979, the former Tärna IK Fjällvinden skier broke the season record of 12 World Cup wins set by French Skier Jean-Claude Killy. Stenmark got 13 wins in a season.

Here are the medals won by Stenmark throughout his career:

  • 3 Overall(1976, 1977, 1978), 8 GS(1975-81, 83) and 8 SL(1975-81, 84) titles 
  • 2 gold medals(1980 SL & GS) and a bronze(1976 GS) at the Olympics.
  • 5 World Championships Gold(1978 &1980 - SL & GS, 1982 SL), 1 bronze(1976 Slalom) and 1 silver(1982 GS).
  • 86 World Cup Wins (40 SL & 46 GS), 43 silver and 26 bronze wins

Marcel Hirscher

Marcel Hirscher is an Olympic gold medalist and former Alpine Ski Racer out of Salzburg, Austria. 

Source : facebook

He made his debut in 2007 at the age of 18, dominating the SL and GS for many years before he retired in 2019 at the age of 30.

Here are the medals won by Hirscher in his career:

  • 8 Overall(2012-19), 6 SL(2013-15, 2017-19) & 6 GS(2012, 2015-19) titles 
  • 2 Gold (2018 C & GS) and 1 Silver(2014 SL) at the Olympics.
  • 7 Gold(2013SL & team event, 2015 CE & team event, 2017 SL & GS, 2019 SL) and 4 silver(2013 GS, 2015 GS, 2017 CE, 2019 GS) medals at the World Championships
  • 67 World Cup wins(32 SL & 31 GS), 47 silver and 24 bronze wins

Mikaela Shiffrin

Mikaela Shiffrin is the youngest Slalom champion in Olympic alpine skiing history. She is the record holder for the most World Cup Wins by any alpine skier ever. 

Source : facebook

She is one of the best American skiers of all time and that fact becomes self-evident upon looking at her medals record given below:

  • 5 overall(2017-19, 2022-23), 7 SL(2013-15, 2017-19, 2023), 2GS(2019, 202), 1 SG(2019) titles
  • 90 World Cup wins (55 SL, 21 GS, 5 SG, 3 DH, 1 AC, 3 CE, 2 PSL)
  • Gold at the 2018 Olympics(GS) & 2014 Olympics(SL) 
  • 7 gold(2013 SL, 2015 SL, 2017 SL, 2019 SL & SG, 2021 CE, 2023 GS), 4 silver(2017 GS, 2021 GS, 2023 SL & SG) and 3 bronze(2019 GS, 2021 SL & SG) at the World Championships 

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn is a former Alpine Skier out of Minnesota, USA. She is one of the six women to win the World Cup Races in all five alpine skiing events.

Source : instagram

She competed for the Vail SSC and made her World Cup debut on November 18, 2000, at the age of 16. Here are the medals won by Vonn in her career.

  • 82 World Cup Wins (43 DH, 28 SG, 4 GS, 2 SL, 5 CE)
  • 4 overall(2008-10, 2012), 8 DH(2008-2013, 2015-16), 5 SG(2009-12, 2015), 3 combined(2010-12) titles
  • Gold at the 2010 Olympics Downhill event
  • Bronze at the 2010(SG) and 2018(DH) Olympics
  • 2 Gold(2009 DH SG), two silver(2007 DH & SG) and 3 bronze(2015 SG, 2017 DH, 2019 DH) at the World Championship

Hermann Maier

Hermann "Herminator" Maier an Austrian former Alpine Skier, is one of the greatest Alpine skiers of all time behind only Stenmark and Hirscher on men's all-time World Cup victories.

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The Salzburg, Austria native competed for the USC Flachau – Salzburg. He made his World Cup debut in 1996 and here are all the medals won by Maier before he retired in 2009. 

  • 4 Overall(1998, 2000, 2001, 2004), 2 DH(2000-01), 5 SG(1998-2001, 2004), 3 GS(1998, 2000-01) titles.
  • 54 World Cup Wins(14 GS, 24 SG, 15 DH, 1 CE)
  • 2 gold(1998 SG & GS), 1 silver(2006 SG) and 1 bronze(2006 GS) at the Olympics
  • 3 gold(1999 DH & SG, 2005 GS), 2 silver(2001 DH, 200 SG) and 1 bronze(2001 SG) at the World Championships 

Aksel Lund Svindal

Aksel Lund Svindal is a former World Cup Alpine Ski Racer from Lørenskog in Akershus county, Norway. He competed for Nero Alpin.

Source : facebook

Here are the medals won by Svindal that led many to consider him the best Norwegian alpine skier ever.

  • 2 overall(2007, 2009), 2 DH(2013, 2014), 5 SG(2006, 2009, 2012-14), 1 GS(2007), 1 CE(2007) titles
  • 36 World Cup Race Wins(14 DH, 17 SG, 4 GS, 1 CE), 19 silver, and 25 bronze
  • 2 gold(2010 SG, 2018 DH), 1 silver(2010 DH) and 1 bronze(2010 GS) at the Olympics
  • 5 World Championships(2007 DH & GS, 2009 CE, 2011 SC, 2013 DH), 2 silver(2005 CE, 2019 DH) and 2 bronze(2009 & 2013 SG)

Bode Miller

Bode Miller is an Olympic gold medal-winning American former Alpine Ski Racer. He is one of the only 5 men to win gold at all five World Cup Race events.

Source : facebook

Here are all the medals won by the Easton, New Hampshire, native that led to him being the most successful American alpine ski racer ever.

  • 2 overall(2005, 2008), 2 SG(2005, 2007), 1 GS(2004), and 3 CE(2003, 2004, 2008) titles
  • 33  World Cup Race Victories (8 DH, 5 SG, 9 GS, 5 SL, 6 SC), 29 silver and 17 bronze
  • 1 gold(2010 CE), 3 silver(2002 GS & CE, 2010 SG), and 2 bronze(2010 DH, 2014 SG) at the Olympics
  • 4 World Championships(2003 GS & CE, 2005 DH & SG) and 1 silver(2003 SG)

Pirmin Zurbriggen

Pirmin Zurbriggen is one of the most successful alpine skiers ever, he hails from Switzerland and was an active skier until 1990. 

Source : facebook

He made his World Cup debut on January 4, 1981, and won the following medals before retirement.

  • 4 overall(1984, 1987,1988, 1990), 2 DH(1987, 1988), 4 SG(1987-90), and 1 GS(1987) titles
  • 40 World Cup Race wins (10 DH, 10 SG, 7 GS, 11 CE, 2 SL), 26 silver and 17 bronze
  • Gold at the 1988 Olympics Downhill event and bronze at the 1988 Olympics Giant Slalom event
  • 4 gold(1985 DH & SC, 1987 SG & GS), 4 silver(1985 GS, 1987 DH & CE, 1989 SG) and 1 bronze(GS) at the World Championships 

Alberto Tomba

Alberto Tomba is an Italian former Alpine Skier, who was active until 1998. He was nicknamed "Tomba la Bomba" in Italian which translates to "Tomba the Bomb".

Source : facebook

He made his World Cup debut on December 16, 1988, and retired in 1998. Here are all the medals won by the dominant technical SL and GS Skier in the late '80s and '90s. 

  • 1 overall(1995), 4 GS(1988, 1991, 1992, 1995), and 4 SL(1988, 1992, 1994, 1995) titles
  • 50 World Cup Race wins (15 GS, 35 SL), 26 silver and 12 bronze
  • 3 gold(1988 SL & GS, 1992 GS) and 2 silver(1992 SL, 1994 SL) at the Olympics
  • 2 gold(1996 SL & GS) and 2 bronze(1987 SL & GS) at the world championships

Kjetil André Aamodt

Kjetil André Aamodt is a former Norwegian alpine ski racer. He was inducted into the International Ski Racing Hall of Fame alongside Lasse Kjus in 2015. 

Source : nordica

Here are the medals won by Aamodt before his retirement in 2007. 

  • 1 overall(1994), 1 SG(1993), 1 GS(1993), 1 SL(2000) and 5 CE(1994, 1997, 1999, 1999, 2000, 2001)titles
  • 4 gold(1992 SG, 2002 SG & CE, 2006 SG), 2 silver(1994 DH & CE) and 2 bronze(1992 GS & 1994 SG) at the Olympics
  • 21 World Cup Race wins (1 DH, 5 SG, 6 GS, 1 SL, 8 CE), 23 silver and 20 bronze
  • 5 gold(199 GS & SL, 1997 CE, 1999 CE, 2001 SC), 4 silver(1991 SG, 1993 CE, 2001 GS, 2003 DH) and 3 bronze(1996 SG, 1999 DH, 2003 CE) at the World Championships

Jean-Claude Killy

Jean-Claude Killy is a French former alpine ski racer, He is the first World Cup Champion. He made his World Cup debut in 1967, the race's inaugural season.

Source : facebook

He retired from the World Cup in 1968 after two seasons. Here are the medals won by Killy, the winner of the first two World Cup titles. 

  • 2 overall(1967-68), 1 DH(1967), 2 GS(1967-68), and 1 SL(1967) titles
  • 18 World Cup Race wins(6 DH, 7 GS, 5 SL), 3 silver and 3 bronze. 
  • 3 gold at the 1968 Olympics DH, GS, and SL events
  • 6 gold at the World Championships(1966 DH & CE, 1968 DH, GS, SL & CE)

Tina Maze

Tina Maze is a former Slovenian Alpine Ski racer, she retired in 2017. She made her World Cup debut in 1999. 

Source : facebook

She won the "Slovenian Sportswoman of the Year" award in 2005 and for five consecutive years from 2010 to 2015. Here are the medals won by the most successful Slovenian ski racer ever.

  • 1 overall, 1 GS, 1 SG, and 1 CE titles all won in 2013.
  • 26 World Cup Race wins(4 DH, 1 SG, 14 GS, 4 SL, 3 CE), 28 silver and 27 bronze
  • 2 gold(2014 DH & GS) and 2 silver(2010 SG & GS) at the Olympics
  • 4 gold(2011 GS, 2013 SG, 2015 DH & CE) and 5 silver(2009 GS, 2011 CE, 2013 CE & GS, 2016 SG) at the World Championships

Franz Klammer

Franz Klammer is an Austrian former Alpine Ski racer, he retired in 1985. He was nicknamed "The Kaiser" and the "Klammer Express".

Source : facebook

Klammer in an interview with the Daily Telegraph stated the following reason for his success,

"I was the first downhill skier who carved through the whole turn".

He held the record for most wins at the full course at Kitzbuhel until he was passed by Swiss Skier Didier Cuche with 5. He made his World Cup debut in 1972 and here are the medals he won before retiring.

  • 5 DH(1975-78, 1983) titles
  • 26 World Cup Race Wins (25 DH, 1 CE), 10 silver and 9 bronze.
  • Gold at the 1976 Olympics Downhill event
  • 2 gold(1974 CE, 1976 DH) and one silver(1974 DH) at the World Championships

Ivica Kostelić

Ivica Kostelić is a Croatian former alpine ski racer, he retired from skiing in 2017. He is the brother of Janica Kostellic, 4 times Olympic gold medallist and 5-time World Champion.

Source : wikipedia

He is famous for his shocking Slalom win in 2001 after starting from bib number 64. Here are the medals won by Kostelic in his skiing career. 

  • 1 overall(2011), 2 Slalom(2002, 2011), and 3 CE(2011-13) titles
  • 26 World Cup Race wins(15 SL, 1 SG, 9 CE, 1 parallel), 15 silver and 20 bronze
  • 4 silver(2006 CE, 2010 CE & SL, 2014 CE) at the Olympics
  • 1 Gold(2003 SL), 1 silver(2013 CE) and 1 bronze(SG) at the World Championships.
  • Bronze at the 1997 Junior World Ski Championships

Lasse Kjus

Lasse Kjus is a former Alpine Ski Racer, he was born in Oslo Norway. He was inducted into the "International Ski Racing Hall of Fame in 2015 alongside fellow Norwegian Skier Kjetil André Aamodt. 

Source : instagram

He was also the recipient of the "Legends of Honor by the Vail Valley Foundation" alongside Aamodt in 2015 as well. Here are the medals won by Kjus before he retired from skiing in 2007.

  • 2 overall(1996, 1999), 1 DH(1999), and 3 CE(1994, 1999, 2001) titles
  • 18 World Cup Race Wins(2 GS, 10 DH, 2 SG, 4CE), 24 silver and 18 bronze
  • 1 gold(1994 CE), 3 silver(1998 DH & CE, 2002 DH), and 1 bronze(2002 GS) at the Olympics
  • 3 gold(1993 CE, 1999 SG & GS) and 8 silver(1996 CE, 1997 DH, SG & GS, 1999 DH SL & CE, 2003 CE) at the World Championships

Didier Cuche

Didier Cuche is a former alpine ski racer born in Le Pâquier, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He competed for the Chasseral Dombresson Ski Club. 

Source : facebook

He won the Swiss Sports Personality of the Year award in 2009 and 2011. Here are the medals won by Cuche during his career that spanned from 1993 to 2012. 

  • 4 DH(2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), 1 SG(2011), and 1 GS(2009) titles
  • 21 World Cup Race wins (12 DH, 6 SG, 3 GS), 26 silver and 20 bronze
  • Silver at the 1998 Olympics Super-G event.
  • 1 gold(2009 SG), two silver(2009 DH, 2011 DH) and one bronze(2007 GS) at the World Championships

Benjamin Raich

Benjamin Raich is an Austrian former alpine ski racer, who retired in 2015. The Olympic medalist made his Word debut in 1996.

Source : facebook

Here are the medals won by Raich throughout his skiing career that led many to consider him to be one of the best alpine racers.

  • 1 overall(2006), 2 GS(2005, 2006), 3 SL(2001, 2005, 2006), and 3 CE(2005, 2006 2010) titles
  • 36 World Cup Race Wins(14 SL, 14 GS, 1SG, 7 CE), 29 silver and 27 bronze
  • 2 gold(2006 GS & SL) and 2 bronze(2002 SL & CE) at the Olympics
  • 3 gold(2005 SL & CE, 2007 team event), 6 silver(2001 SL, 2005 GS & team event, 2007 CE, 2009 GS, 2011 team event) and 1 bronze(2005 SG) at the World Championships

Anja Pärson

Anja Pärson is a Swedish former Alpine ski racer, who retired in 2012. She is one of the best female skiers of all time. 

Source : facebook

She made her World Cup debut in 1998. She competed for the Tärna IK Fjällvinden ski club and here are all the medals won by Parson before her retirement. 

  • 2 overall(2004-05), 3 GS(2003, 2004, 2006), 1 SL(2004), 1 CE(2009) titles
  • 42 World Cup Race wins (6 DH, 4 SG, 11 GS, 18 SL, 3 CE), 30 silver and 23 bronze
  • 1 gold(2006 SL), 1 silver(2002 GS) and 4 bronze(2002 SL, 2006 DH & CE, 2010 CE) at the Olympics
  • 7 gold(2001 SL, 2003 GS, 2005 SG & GS, 2007 SG, CE & DH), 2 silver(2005 CE, 2007 team event) and 4 bronze(2001 GS, 2007 SL, 2011 CE & team event) at the World Championships

Marc Girardelli

Marc Girardelli is a former alpine ski racer, he was born in Lustenau, Austria. He was an all-rounder excelling in all five disciplines.

Source : facebook

He represented Austria until 1976 before making the switch to Luxembourg, he has won all of the medals mentioned below representing the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. 

  • 5 overall(1985-86, 1989, 1991, 1993), 3 SL(1984-85, 1991), 1 GS(1985), 2 DH(1989, 1994), 3 CE(1989, 1993, 1995) titles
  • 46 World Cup Race Wins(16 SL, 7 GS, 9 SG, 3 DH, 11 CE), 28 silver and 26 bronze 
  • 2 silver at the 1992 Olympics Super-G and Giant Slalom events
  • 4 gold(1987 CE, 1980 CE, 1991 SL, 1996 CE), 4 silver(1985 SL, 1987 GS & SG, 1993 SL) and 3 bronze(1985 GS, 1989 SL, 1993 CE) at the world championships

Toni Sailer

Toni Sailer or Anton Engelbert "Toni" Sailer was an Austrian alpine ski racer. He passed away on August 24, 2009, at the age of 73. 

Source : facebook

He was named the "Austrian Sports Personality of the Century" in 1999. He was awarded the Olympic Order in 1985 by the International Olympic Committee for "contributions to the Olympic Movement".

He competed for the Kitzbühel Ski Club before retiring in 1959. Here are the medals won by Sailer throughout his skiing career. 

  • 3 Gold medals at the 1956 Olympics Downhill, Giant Slalom and Slalom events.
  • 7 World Championships(1956 DH, GS, SL & CE, 1958 DH, GS, CE)
  • one silver at the 1958 World Championships Slalom event

Annemarie Moser-Pröll

Annemarie Moser-Pröll is a former alpine ski racer born in Salzburg, Austria. She retired from skiing in 1980 after making her World Cup debut in 1969.

Source : wikipedia

Her record of 62 World Cup wins places her as the third woman with the most Victories behind Mikalea Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn. Here are the medals won by one of the best female skiers of all time.

  • 6 overall(1971-75, 1979 ), 7 DH(1971-79), and 3 GS(1971, 1972, 1975), 2 CE(1975, 1979) titles
  • 62 World Cup Race wins(3 SL, 16 GS, 136 DH, 7 CE), 32 silver and 20 bronze
  • 1 gold(1980 DH) and 2 silver(1972 DH & GS) at the Olympics
  • 5 gold(1972 CE, 1974 DH, 1978 DH & CE, 1980 DH) and 2 bronze(1970 DH, 1978 GS) at the World Championships

Henrik Kristoffersen

Henrik Kristoffersen is a Norwegian alpine ski racer who competes for the Rælingen SK ski club. He made his World Cup debut on March 11, 2012. 

Source : facebook

He is the first skier to win the Slalom races of Adelboden, Wengen, Kitzbühel, and Schladming in a single season. He was also the first male racer to win 6 World Cup slalom races in a single season in 24 years since Alberto Tomba in 1992. 

Here are the medals won by Kristoffersen so far in his career. 

  • 3 SL(2016, 2020, 2021) and 1 GS(2020) titles
  • 30 World Cup Race Wins(23SL, 7 GS)
  • 2 gold(2019, 2023) and one bronze(2021) at the World Championships
  • Silver at the 2018 Olympics Giant Slalom event
  • Bronze at the 2014 Olympics Slalom event

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