Ingemar Stenmark : biography
Jan Ingemar Stenmark () (born 18 March 1956 in Joesjö, Storuman Municipality) is a Swedish former skier, active during the 1970s and 1980s. He is regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish sportsmen, and as the greatest slalom and giant slalom specialist of all time. He competed for Fjällvinden Tärnaby.
Stenmark was born in the province of Lappland. His family moved to Tärnaby when he was four years old, where he became neighbours with Stig Strand, who would later win the World Cup Slalom title. He began skiing at the age of five and won his first national competition at the age of eight.
World Cup results
Stenmark has won far more international races than any other alpine skier in history. With victories of a total of 86 (46 giant slaloms and 40 slaloms) he is 32 ahead of Hermann Maier who has 54 victories to his name. He only won in two disciplines: slalom and giant slalom (the other events are downhill, super-G, which did not exist until 1982, and combined). Stenmark rarely competed in the other disciplines, as he was not comfortable with speeds in excess of 120 km/h (75 mph).
Stenmark was not allowed to participate in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo due to his status as a professional and therefore could not defend his gold medals from 1980 Winter Olympics. In the 1988 Winter Olympics he was allowed back into the Olympic competition.
For his three straight World Cup titles (1976–78), Stenmark earned the Holmenkollen medal in 1979 (Shared with Erik Håker and Raisa Smetanina). Stenmark also earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal twice (1975 & 1978). His 1978 medal was shared with tennis player Björn Borg, making them the only two men to ever win the honor twice (female alpine skier Anja Pärson received the medal in 2006 and 2007).
During the years from 1976 to 1978 Stenmark, along with tennis player Björn Borg, became a national icon in Sweden. This was not changed by the fact that he—for tax reasons—soon moved to Monaco. On 26 December 2004 he survived the Indian Ocean earthquake while on vacation in Thailand. Stenmark also won the 1996 Swedish Superstars championship.