Deborah Compagnoni

Deborah Compagnoni ( born June 4, 1970 in Bormio, Sondrio Province ) is a former Italian alpine skier. She is three time Olympic gold medalist, three -time world champion and once won the giant slalom World Cup. Thus, it is by far the most successful Italian ski racer of the 1990s.

  • 2.1 The Olympic Games
  • 2.2 World Championships
  • 2.3 Junior World Championships
  • 2.4 World Cup ratings
  • 2.5 World Cup wins
  • 2.6 Italian Championships


Junior time

Compagnoni came early with the ski in contact; Father and Uncle Giuseppe Giorgio already included the early 1970s in the Italian ski team, but had only moderate success. The hotel her parents in Santa Caterina, the " Baita Fiorita di Deborah ", housed the Swiss women's national team during the 1985 World Ski Championships; the then 14 -year-old Compagnoni served the Swiss ski stars as Erika Hess, Michela Figini or Maria Walliser each meals.

Attention first to be made ​​Compagnoni at the Junior World Cup 1986 in Bad Kleinkirchheim, when she was third in the giant slalom. A year later, at the Junior World Championships 1987 in Hemsedal and halls, she won gold in the giant slalom and bronze in the downhill. In Italy it is common that can be top athletes, pro forma by the customs authorities or the police do, in Compagnonis case it was the Guardia di Finanza.

Health setbacks

On November 28, 1987 Compagnoni first participated in a World Cup race; Super-G in Sestriere she reached the fifth place right away. A week later she made with a fourth-place finish in the downhill in Val d'Isere again sensation. But on January 14, 1988, she retired at the departure in Zinal a torn ACL to which the so hopefully begun the season was already finished.

Since the therapy proved to be very cumbersome and a half years after the accident, the knee had to be operated again, fell from almost the entire 1988/89 season for Compagnoni. Only at the Junior World Championships in Aleyska (USA), she went to the start. In December 1990, it had to be brought by her father to the hospital emergency basis to Sondrio: Shosanna narrowly survived a volvulus and the resulting ruptured appendix.

Only in March 1991, she took part in a World Cup race again and reached - even though they had hardly able to train - the giant slalom in Vail fourth place. In the summer of 1991 she was able to complete regular training again, including a longer time along with Alberto Tomba. The Italian tabloids billowed this cooperation immediately on to a love romance.

On top of the world

During the 1991/92 season Compagnoni was again consistently achieve good results and won on January 26, 1992, she first World Cup race, the super -G in Morzine. At the Olympic Winter Games in 1992 she won in Méribel in the same discipline the gold medal. But the triumph was immediately followed by the setback. The next day they fell heavily in the giant slalom; again she suffered a severe ligament injury in the knee and the season was again end prematurely.

1992/93 achieved Compagnoni turn several podiums and a victory. They refrained from now on all the downhill race in order to keep the risk of injury to a minimum. The World Ski Championships 1993 in Japan Morioka ended rather disappointing with a fifth place in the Super -G.

The winter of 1993/94 was again very successful for Compagnoni. With three victories, she was at the end of the season, the third-best giant slalom rider in the world. At the 1994 Winter Olympics, she won on the Hafjell in Lillehammer their second Olympic gold medal, this time in the giant slalom. The victory they dedicated the Austrian Ulrike Maier, who was four weeks earlier succumbed to her injuries after a crash on the descent of Garmisch -Partenkirchen. This tragic event had Compagnoni very touched, because the younger brother of her former friend in 1991, was also killed in a FIS race.

Renewed problems

The 1994/95 season could Compagnoni because of a kidney infection only with a delay of two months to address. In addition, she complained through the winter of backache. Despite these problems, but they could win a World Cup giant slalom.

The preparation for the 1995/96 season was not optimal. During the summer training camp in Chile Compagnoni suffered after a serious fall again a torn ligament. Once again, an operation was necessary. As a further precaution, she decided in future to refrain from participating in Super -G race and to focus only on the relatively harmless disciplines giant slalom and slalom.

Second career highlight

Due to the necessary therapies during convalescence, the start of the season was delayed to January 1996. With several good results, however, she was able to immediately re-establish itself on the world's best. At the season's peak, the World Ski Championships 1996 in Spain's Sierra Nevada it was giant slalom world champion for the first time. The failure in the first run of the slalom they could easily put away in the face of recent events.

In the season 1996/ 97, the training was entirely tailored to the reduced exercise capacity. As their model Alberto Tomba they had assembled their own coaching staff around and trained mostly separated from the Italian national team. Compagnonis brother Yuri worked as Skitester and helped her get used to the then novel waisted carving skis.

On 29 December 1996 Compagnoni won the first-ever in Semmering Slalom. That it will now also included in this discipline, the world leaders, they confirmed at the World Ski Championships 1997 in Sestriere by winning the gold medal, while nonetheless benefited from the failures of the favorites Claudia Riegler and Pernilla Wiberg. The world champion in giant slalom, she defended sovereign. At the conclusion of this successful winter they also celebrated winning the giant slalom World Cup thanks to four victories.

After the season was 1997/98 started quite successful, she had a lighter dip in form. However, in time for the big event, the 1998 Winter Olympics, Compagnoni turned on again. In slalom, she won the silver medal she won the giant slalom superior with more than two seconds ahead of Alexandra Meissnitzer. With their third Olympic gold medal in a row Compagnoni was in Italy once and for superstar. In the Giant Slalom World Cup but it was overtaken by Martina Ertl itself shortly before the season ends.


The preparation for the 1998/99 season was not optimal due to permanent back pain. During the winter also reiterated knee discomfort felt. Under these circumstances, the courts proved to 7 ( in the giant slalom ) and 8 ( in slalom ) at the 1999 World Ski Championships to be remarkably good. In March 1999, Compagnoni listened to the advice of their doctors and stepped away from professional sports.

In autumn 2000, she married Alessandro Benetton from the famous textile dynasty Benetton. In the same year came daughter Agnese to the world in 2002 Son of Tobias. Even before her resignation Compagnoni had a special relationship with fashion; she designed race suits and race-free time was during a time as the model. Even in the social field it is committed: As part of anti- smoking campaigns she visits schools and support organizations working against the oppression of women as well as cancer research.

Before the start of the World Ski Championships 2005 was the hotel for their parents located in close proximity in Santa Caterina runway on which took place the race of women, christened " Deborah Compagnoni ".


Olympic games

  • Albertville 1992: 1 Super -G
  • Lillehammer 1994: 1st Giant Slalom, Slalom 10, 17, Super -G
  • Nagano 1998: 1st Giant Slalom, Slalom 2

World Championships

  • Morioka 1993: 5 Super -G
  • Sierra Nevada 1996: 1st Giant Slalom
  • Sestriere 1997: 1st Giant Slalom, Slalom 1
  • Vail / Beaver Creek 1999: 7 Giant Slalom, Slalom 8

Junior World Championships

  • Bad Kleinkirchheim 1986: 3rd giant slalom
  • Halls / Hemsedal 1987: 1st Giant Slalom, 3rd exit
  • Aleyska 1989: 17 Super -G

World Cup ratings

  • 1991/92 season: 4 Giant Slalom
  • 1992/93 Season: 6 Super -G, Giant Slalom 8
  • Season 1993/94: 6th overall, 3rd giant slalom
  • Season 1994/95: 5 Giant Slalom
  • 1995/ 96: 6 Giant Slalom
  • Season 1996/ 97: 4th overall, 1st Giant Slalom, Slalom 3
  • Season 1997/ 98: 4th overall, 2nd Giant Slalom, Slalom 6
  • Season 1998/99: 9 Giant Slalom

World Cup wins

Overall, Deborah Compagnoni has won 16 World Cup races:

Italian Championships

Deborah Compagnoni won a total of seven Italian league title:

  • Slalom (1): 1989
  • Giant Slalom ( 5): 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997
  • Super -G ( 1): 1991


  • World Sports Archives, Edition 37 /2000 ( Munzinger archive)