Sweden (1992): I.Stenmark, Lake Placid 1980

Jan Ingemar Stenmark (born in Joesjö, Storuman Municipality, Lapland, 18 March 1956) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Sweden. Regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish athletes ever, during 1976-1978 he became a national icon in Sweden, along with tennis player Björn Borg. Stenmark’s family moved to Tärnaby (near Norway) when he was four years old and he began skiing at the age of five and won his first national competition aged eight. Stenmark made his World Cup debut at age 17 (Dec. 1973) and to date he has won more international races than any other alpine skier: 46 giant slaloms and 40 slaloms, for a total of 86 World Cup wins. Stenmark was a specialist (possibly the greatest ever) of the two technical disciplines, slalom and giant slalom, as he was not comfortable with the other fast disciplines exceeding 120 km/h (75 mph). Known for being a quiet person, Stenmark won 3 World Cup overall titles (1976, 1977, 1978), 2 Winter Olympic golds (1980 Lake Placid, also valid as World Championship medals)), 5 World Championship golds (1978 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1980 Lake Placid, 1982 Schladming). He retired from World Cup competition at the end of the 1989 season, days before his 33rd birthday, as one of the most successful skiers of all time. Stenmark earned the Holmenkollen medal in 1979 for his three straight World Cup titles (1976–78), and also earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal twice (1975, 1978). His successful stint during the 1970s contributed to the so-called “Stenmarksfebern”, a ‘construction boom’ that lasted until the end of the 1980s at most Swedish alpine ski resorts.

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