Ingemar Stenmark

Jan Ingemar Stenmark (born March 18, 1956 in Joesjö, Storumans municipality) is a former Swedish skier, active during the '70s and '80s. 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.

Competitive record

Stenmark has won more alpine ski competitions than any other man with a total of 86 races in the Alpine Skiing World Cup, Hermann Maier being the second with 53 victories. 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).

He won the Overall World Cup title three times in 1976-78. He also achieved four of the top ten most successful seasons ever in giant slalom competition. Stenmark won every giant slalom race during the 1977-78 (7 of 7) and 1978-79 seasons (10 of 10). In the 1979-80 season he won ten out of eleven giant slaloms. He has six of the top ten most successful seasons ever in slalom competition: he won all the slalom races during the 1975-76 season (7 of 7), and almost every slalom race in the 1976-77 (9 of 10), 1981-82 (8 of 9), 1979-80 (7 of 8), 1974-75 (7 of 8), and 1980-81 (8 of 10) seasons.

Including Alpine Skiing World Cup, FIS World Championships and Olympic competition, Stenmark finished as follows:

*1st place: 92 times;
*2nd place: 45 times;
*3rd place: 28 times;
*4th place: 10 times;
*5th place: 13 times;
*6th place: 10 times;
*7th place: 8 times;
*8th place: 7 times;
*9th place: 5 times;
*10th place: 4 times.

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. In the 1988 Games he was allowed back into the Olympic competition.

For his three straight World Alpine Skiing 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 as well (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 Pärsson received the medal in 2006 and 2007).

Other

During the years from 1976-78 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 December 26, 2004 he survived the Indian Ocean earthquake while on vacation in Thailand.Stenmark also won the 1996 Swedish Superstars championship.

World Cup victories

Overall

Individual victories

External links

*FIS|S=AL|ID=58663
* [http://www.skiforeningen.no/holmenkollen/holmenkollen_historikk Holmenkollen medalists] - click Holmenkollmedaljen for downloadable pdf file no icon
* [http://www.ski-db.com/db/profiles/stnin.asp Ski-db.com] - Ingemar Stenmark


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