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Team Austria: Patrick Ortlieb |  Austrian Olympic Committee

Team Austria: Patrick Ortlieb | Austrian Olympic Committee

The Olympic Games have their own rules. This has been known for a long time when Patrick Ortlieb competed in Albertville in 1992. The Vorarlberger team, already known as a paragliding specialist, successfully handled the landing on the very demanding and winding “Laface de Bellevarde” route in Val-d'Isere with a start No. 1. No one would have imagined at that point that Ortlieb would be in contention for the victory. The talented Bregenz native showed his potential early in his career, but was plagued by injuries, repeatedly dropped from various teams and only reached the top of the world thanks to perseverance and strong will. Ortlieb was unable to win a World Cup race before the 1992 Games. But his big moment came in France. The time Snow first hit No. 1 was unbeaten by any other runner and Ortlieb was crowned Olympic champion.

In the following years, the speed specialist reached the World Cup podium 20 times and celebrated four victories. Ortlieb celebrated the second major success of his career at the World Cup, which was held in the Spanish Sierra Nevada, which was postponed for a year. He became the world champion in downhill, ahead of Italian Cristian Ghedina and Frenchman Luc Alphand. With this title he ended the ill-fated Austrian drought: for 14 years no rider with the red, white and red colors reached the podium at the World Championships.
In 1999, Ortlieb suffered a serious fall while training for the Hahnenkamm downhill race in Kitzbühel on the edge of Heusberg, suffering a comminuted fracture of his right femur as well as a hip socket and other injuries, ending his active career shortly thereafter. . Ortlieb then ventured into politics, working for the Austrian Ski Association and managing the Hotel Montana in Oberlik with his family.

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