Over time there are many skiers who have marked a time in the development of our sport, but only a few have truly stood out over the rest. These are the ten most influential skiers of all time, of course, in the judgment of snow alone.
As you will see, for the moment we look back at other times. Which doesn’t mean that now, and in recent years, there haven’t been any real geniuses? But they still have a lot of roads ahead of them and they can still do a lot for skiing, either competing or backstage.
- Hannes Schneider
Schneider is one of the key characters in the history of skiing. Born in 1890 in the Austrian town of Stuben-one of the urban centers of the present-day St. Anton -, this son of a cheesemaker laid the foundations of the modern ski technique.
His intense and fruitful career in the world of skiing began in 1907 as a guide for the clients of the hotel Post de St. Anton, where he began to develop the Arlberg method, the system that would dominate the teaching of world skiing for years.
- Emile Allais
The first great French skier. Allais can be considered Schneider’s counterpoint and Austrian technique.
Born in Megève in 1912, he developed and popularized the French ski method, based on rotation, against the combined wedge-parallel technique of the Austrian School.
A solemn and elegant style with which Allais achieved significant sporting successes, among which stands out the victory in the three races (descent, slalom, and combined) at the Chamonix World Championships in 1937.
- Toni Sailer
The first media skier and one of the best in history.
Born in Kitzbühel (Austria) in 1935, Anton Englebert Sailer achieved unprecedented success at the 1956 Olympic Games in Cortina d’ampezzo, winning in all Alpine disciplines (descent, slalom, and giant) with overwhelming authority: 6.2 seconds lead in the giant, 4 in the slalom and 3.5 in the descent.
Two years later, at the world championships in Bad Gastein, he again astounded by winning in Descent, giant and combined and getting the silver in slalom.
- Jean-Claude Killy
The best French skier in history and one of the best of all time; for many the best. He was born during the Nazi occupation in Saint Cloud, a suburb of Paris, but grew up at Val d’isère station, where he began skiing at the age of five.
It soon rose because of its speed and exceptional quality, although it often did not finish the tests. In 1961 he won his first international race, despite leaving with the dorsal 39.
He was a double world champion in 1966 in Portillo (Chile) and the first winner of the World Cup in 1967-with an insulting superiority-, a title he repeated in 1968, as well as being crowned that same year triple champion in the Grenoble Olympics, thus equating the feat achieved by Toni Sailer in the 1956 Games.
- Paco Fernandez Ochoa
The most crucial skier our country has ever had deserves a place among the most influential in history, at least ours.
Of humble origin, the largest of a series of eight brothers were to the world snow Angel Nieto for the motorcycle: the man who put Spain in the map of the international ski with his unforgettable victory in the slalom of the Olympic Games in Sapporo.
That 13 February 1972, Francisco Fernandez Ochoa overcame an all-star circuit of alpine, headed by the Italian Gustav Thoeni.
- Ingemar Stenmark
The Record Man. Unlike Sailer or Killy, the Swedish genius prolonged his career in the World Ski elite over seventeen seasons between 1973 and 1989, in which he accumulated no less than 86 wins in the World Cup, an absolute record.
Stenmark is for many the best skier in history. His palmarés confirm this: three victories (1975, 1976 and 1977) in the absolute general of the World Cup, eight in the general of slalom and eight more in the general of gigantic, three victories in World Championships and three Olympic medals.
- Alberto Tomba
With him came to the show. The bomb has been one of the most influential and media skiers, not only because of its quality but also because of its character, which made rivers of ink run on multiple occasions.
Specialist in technical disciplines, the most powerful Italian skier elevated the sport of skiing to the category of mass spectacle, both for his victories and for his fame-probably exaggerated – of revelry and womanizing.
- Candide Thovex
There are many illustrious names in the still brief history of Freeski, but Candide stands out above all of them. Originally from the French station of La Clusaz, the cradle of illustrious freeskiers such as Olympic champion Edgar Grospiron or free-rider Seb Michaud, Candide has taken the freestyle to a stadium that no one else has been able to reach.
He began in the pothole discipline, where he won the French championship at the age of 14, but soon diverted his attention to the emerging freestyle discipline.
- Hermann Maier
The last great myth of Alpine skiing. The story of the skier in Flachau (Austria) seems to have been drawn from a novel, beginning with its difficult beginnings, when at the age of fifteen he had to abandon a promising projection as a runner due to anomalous growth problems.
For some time, he became a bricklayer, until after a few years his Physique developed normally. He then faced the formidable challenge of proving to the Austrian ski leaders that, despite the parenthesis, he deserved a place on the National Team.
- Shane McConkey
Without a doubt, Shane McConkey shines with his own light in the universe of extreme skiing. For his ability to carry the limits beyond the imaginable, but above all for his charisma, his sympathy and his fun and irreverent character.
McConkey was first and foremost an innovator. Beyond the successes achieved in competition, his extensive resume as the protagonist of freeride’s films gave him enormous popularity, as he starred in a myriad of actions but also amusing images.