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The Most Famous

SKIERS from Germany

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This page contains a list of the greatest German Skiers. The pantheon dataset contains 541 Skiers, 65 of which were born in Germany. This makes Germany the birth place of the 3rd most number of Skiers behind Norway and Austria.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary German Skiers of all time. This list of famous German Skiers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of German Skiers.

Photo of Hanni Wenzel

1. Hanni Wenzel (1956 - )

With an HPI of 50.66, Hanni Wenzel is the most famous German Skier.  Her biography has been translated into 27 different languages on wikipedia.

Hannelore (Hanni) Wenzel (born 14 December 1956) is a retired Liechtensteiner alpine ski racer. Weirather is a former Olympic, World Cup, and world champion. She won Liechtenstein's first-ever Olympic medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, and its first two Olympic gold medals four years later in Lake Placid, New York.

Photo of Heidi Biebl

2. Heidi Biebl (1941 - 2022)

With an HPI of 48.85, Heidi Biebl is the 2nd most famous German Skier.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Heidi Biebl (17 February 1941 – 20 January 2022) was a German alpine skier.

Photo of Josef Bradl

3. Josef Bradl (1918 - 1982)

With an HPI of 48.81, Josef Bradl is the 3rd most famous German Skier.  His biography has been translated into 16 different languages.

Josef "Sepp" / "Bubi" Bradl (8 January 1918 – 3 March 1982) was an Austrian ski jumper who competed during the 1930s and 1950s. He was born in Wasserburg am Inn, Bavaria.

Photo of Helmut Recknagel

4. Helmut Recknagel (1937 - )

With an HPI of 48.59, Helmut Recknagel is the 4th most famous German Skier.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Helmut Recknagel (born 20 March 1937 in Steinbach-Hallenberg) is an East German former ski jumper who was active in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He earned a gold medal at the 1960 Winter Olympics in ski jumping and also won the Holmenkollen ski festival ski jumping competition twice (1957 and 1960). At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, he won three medals: a bronze in 1958 and two medals in 1962, a gold in the individual large hill and a bronze in the individual normal hill. For his ski jumping efforts, Recknagel was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1960 (shared with Sixten Jernberg, Sverre Stensheim, and Tormod Knutsen). He was the first German to win the Holmenkollen medal.

Photo of Rosi Mittermaier

5. Rosi Mittermaier (1950 - 2023)

With an HPI of 47.17, Rosi Mittermaier is the 5th most famous German Skier.  Her biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Rosa Anna Katharina Mittermaier-Neureuther (German: [ˈʁozi ˈmɪtɐˌmaɪ̯ɐ] (listen); 5 August 1950 – 4 January 2023) was a German alpine skier. She was the overall World Cup champion in 1976 and a double gold medalist at the 1976 Winter Olympics.Mittermaier competed in alpine skiing from 1967 to 1976, retiring after a highly successful season in which she finished with two Olympic gold medals and ranked first in the World Cup. She remained popular, advertising for sports and as a non-fiction writer. She was known as Gold-Rosi, and she was inducted into Germany's Sports Hall of Fame in April 2006 when it was initiated.

Photo of Jens Weißflog

6. Jens Weißflog (1964 - )

With an HPI of 46.98, Jens Weißflog is the 6th most famous German Skier.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Jens Weißflog (German pronunciation: [jɛns ˈvaɪ̯sˌfloːk], audio ; born 21 July 1964) is a German former ski jumper. He is one of the best and most successful ski jumpers in the history of the sport. Only Finns Matti Nykänen and Janne Ahonen, Poles Adam Małysz and Kamil Stoch and Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer have won more World Cup victories.

Photo of Johann Mühlegg

7. Johann Mühlegg (1970 - )

With an HPI of 45.71, Johann Mühlegg is the 7th most famous German Skier.  Her biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Johann Mühlegg (born 8 November 1970 in Ostallgäu, Germany) is a former top level cross-country skier who competed in international competitions first representing Germany and then Spain, after becoming a Spanish citizen in 1999. He was excluded and disqualified from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City for doping.

Photo of Hans-Georg Aschenbach

8. Hans-Georg Aschenbach (1951 - )

With an HPI of 45.53, Hans-Georg Aschenbach is the 8th most famous German Skier.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Hans-Georg Aschenbach (born 20 October 1951) is a former East German ski jumper. In 1969 he became junior world champion, and two years later won his first national title. He won the FIS Ski Flying World Championships in 1973. In 1974 he won the Four Hills Tournament, and both ski jumping events at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun. Owing to these achievements he was named the East German sportspersonality of the year. He sat out most of 1975 due to a knee injury, but recovered by the 1976 Winter Olympics, where he took the gold medal in the individual normal hill event.Aschenbach retired right after the Olympics to work as a military and sports doctor. In 1988, while serving as the physician of the East German ski jumping team, he defected into West Germany, where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon.

Photo of Georg Thoma

9. Georg Thoma (1937 - )

With an HPI of 43.89, Georg Thoma is the 9th most famous German Skier.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Georg Thoma (German pronunciation: [ˈɡeːɔʁk ˈtoːmaː] (listen); born 20 August 1937) is a retired German Nordic combined skier and ski jumper. He won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, becoming the first non-Scandinavian athlete to do so, and was voted German Sportsman of the Year. At the 1964 Olympics he won a bronze medal and served as the Olympic flag bearer for Germany at the opening ceremony. He further won the world championships title in 1966. Thoma's strength in the Nordic combined was jumping. He was three times German champion in ski jumping (1960, 1961, and 1963). Additionally, he won the Nordic combined at the Holmenkollen ski festival from 1963 to 1966. For his Nordic combined successes, Thoma was awarded the Holmenkollen medal in 1964 (ahared with Veikko Kankkonen, Eero Mäntyranta, and Halvor Næs).Thoma is the uncle of the ski jumper Dieter Thoma. After retiring from competitions he worked as a postman in his hometown and later as a television commentator. He was one of the first German winter athletes to make his living from sponsorship.

Photo of Ossi Reichert

10. Ossi Reichert (1925 - 2006)

With an HPI of 41.96, Ossi Reichert is the 10th most famous German Skier.  Her biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Rosa "Ossi" Reichert (25 December 1925 – 16 July 2006) was a German alpine skier. Her greatest victory was in the 1956 Winter Olympics giant slalom at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Germany's sole gold medal at these games (and Germany's first gold medal in Olympics after the Second World War). After having seriously injured an ankle in 1954, she was not expected to do well at these games. She also drew the #1 start position for the one-run event. Josefa „Putzi“ Frandl, who won the silver medal in the event, once stated that, "Ossi was disappointed to draw #1 as that was usually not a good position. The first racer down the course usually has to scrape off a bit of snow, which slows you down. But Ossi had a great run and overcame that difficulty."Reichert also participated in the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, where she won a silver medal in the slalom, beating her fellow German Annemarie Buchner for the bronze medal. Domestically Reichert won three German titles in 1956, in the slalom, giant slalom and combined events. She retired the same year to run the hotel of her parents in her home town the Allgäu region.

Pantheon has 65 people classified as skiers born between 1918 and 1997. Of these 65, 61 (93.85%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living skiers include Hanni Wenzel, Helmut Recknagel, and Jens Weißflog. The most famous deceased skiers include Heidi Biebl, Josef Bradl, and Rosi Mittermaier. As of April 2022, 14 new skiers have been added to Pantheon including Ossi Reichert, Jochen Danneberg, and Veronika Schmidt.

Living Skiers

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Deceased Skiers

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Newly Added Skiers (2022)

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Which Skiers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Skiers since 1700.