01. Oct 2020

Lech Zürs: An Olympic village

When a village with just 1,500 inhabitants produces four Olympic champions in Alpine ski racing, the term "Olympic village" is indeed appropriate. Since the days of Arlberg’s legendary ski pioneers, one successful chapter after the next has been written in Lech Zürs thanks to the tremendous enthusiasm and consistent support of the Ski Club Arlberg. Join us as we look back on five Olympic gold medals!

 

Great skiers such as Trude Jochum-Beiser, Othmar Schneider, Egon Zimmermann and Patrick Ortlieb have helped to establish and consolidate Lech Zürs’ sterling reputation as a skiing mecca.

 

Trude Jochum-Beiser(born in 1927) won the first gold medal in history for Austria. With two victories, she is Austria's most successful female Olympic athlete. The little girl from a family of 13 worked hard to become a world star in incredible fashion. Her Olympic dreams came true in St. Moritz in 1948, when the young ski racer won silver in the downhill and gold in the combined event!

 

In 1952, Lech Zürs also stood proud at the subsequent Olympic winter games in Oslo. While Trude Jochum-Beiser won downhill gold for Austria at the simultaneous pinnacle and terminus of her career, her determined training partner Othmar Schneider (1928 to 2012) defeated the Norwegian favourite Stein Eriksen by 1.2 seconds in slalom. The homecoming of the two triumphant ski heroes was a public festival as thousands of enthusiastic supporters lined the streets!

 

Egon Zimmerman’s hair-raising performance at the 1964 games on the icy downhill slopes of the Patscherkofel near Innsbruck is the stuff of legend. In spite of bad crashes already in training, hardly any safety precautions and extremely simple skis by today’s standards, the young daredevil skier (1939 to 2019) remained undaunted. Gold for Lech once again!

 

Looking back once more, this time 28 years to be precise, it was Patrick Ortlieb  who made his mark on Lech Zürs' unique Olympic record: in 1992 he won gold in the downhill race in Albertville!

No other village in Austria boasts as much gold as Lech Zürs am Arlberg!

Lech’s Olympic champions at a glance

  • 1948 in St. Moritz - Gold in the combined event for Trude Jochum-Beiser
  • 1952 in Oslo - Gold in downhill for Trude Jochum-Beiser
  • 1952 in Oslo - Gold in slalom for Othmar Schneider
  • 1964 in Innsbruck - Gold in downhill for Egon Zimmermann
  • 1992 in Albertville - Gold in downhill for Patrick Ortlieb