Famous Sports People in Austria

Despite the fact that Austria has limited human potential due to the relatively small number of population, the country has produced some great sports figures that will forever remain in the history of world’s sport. The most popular sport is naturally enough alpine skiing, which has gained the status of national sport for Austrians. Arguably, Austria is the most successful ski nation in the world with hundreds of medals from all types of championships and a galaxy of superb skiers. Another favourite sports discipline is football. The country possesses a number of excellent stadiums and will host Euro 2008. The Central European country also boasts rich traditions in car racing, tennis, swimming, mountaineering and ice hockey. Below you can learn more about some of the most important Austrian athletes.



Niki Lauda is one of the mythical figures in the history of Formula One. His three world titles, won in 1975, 1977 and 1984 respectively, make him the fourth most successful F1 pilot of all time. In his entire career that started in 1971 and ended in 1985 after brief interruptions, Lauda took part in 177 races in Formula One and managed 25 wins. In 1976 on the German Grand Prix race Lauda survived a severe crash,
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Ernst Happel is the most prominent figure on the Austrian football field on account of his career both as a player and coach. He spent 14 years playing for Rapid Vienna, winning 7 times Austrian Championship title, and 2 years for Racing Club de Paris. But Happel is more famous for his honours as a coach, winning the league title in four different countries and silver medal in 1978 World Cup and thus becoming one of the most successful coaches in the history of European and world football.
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Hermann Maier is the living legend of the alpine ski sport. He is considered one of the greatest skiers of all time and an extremely strong personality. This earned him the nickname “Herminator”, which he justifies with his extraordinary physical and mental strength. Maier has won the impressive 53 World Cup races and ranks second after Ingemar Stenmark in terms of number of victories. His huge collection of honours includes two Olympic titles in downhill and Super G from the Games in Nagano in 1998,
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Renate Goetschl, or the “Speed Queen”, is among the most successful contemporary female athletes worldwide and the third most successful female skier in terms of World Cup victories with 46 races won. Goetschl started her remarkable career in the World Cup in 1993 and achieved two victories in her debut season. Her greatest successes are the three World Championship titles in combined from Sestriere 1997, in downhill from Vail 1999 and in the team event from Are 2007.
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Stephan Eberharter is one of the many great Austrian alpine skiers who has won numerous races and thus brought an immense part of Austria’s sport glory in ski sports as a whole. He started participating in World Cup event during the 1989-1990 season and has been most successful in the downhill event with his victory in Kitzbuhel in 2004 being considered as one of the most significant downhill victories in alpine skiing history. Stephan Eberharter won all kinds of prestigious championships – two gold medals at the World Championship in Saalbach in 1991 and one gold medal at the World Championships in St Moritz in 2003,
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