Gerda Paumgarten

Gerda Countess paumgarten - Hohenschwangau ( born February 4, 1907 in Graz, † 1 January 2000 in Vienna) was an Austrian alpine skier. It was in 1936 slalom world champion, won four medals at the World Championships and won in several international races.


The Skiing paumgarten learned at the age of seven, her older brothers Fridtjof and Harald were also skiers. As they soon had no serious rival more in girls race, she preferred to compete with the boys. In the winter months they often stayed on his father's property in St. Anton am Arlberg. Her first international competition was the 1932 World Cup in Cortina d' Ampezzo, in the least she came in seventh in the downhill.

The World Ski Championships 1933 in Innsbruck, she won silver in the combined score and bronze in downhill skiing. As a member of the Ski Club Arlberg put it in 1933, the examination is a government recognized ski instructor from. Due to the internal political events in Austria ( February uprising ) in 1934 she had to forgo participation in the World Championships in St. Moritz. However, in the same winter she won the downhill and slalom at the French Championships in Luchon. In 1935 paumgarten rare in international competitions in part, but mostly worked as a ski instructor. This meant that it was excluded in the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch -Partenkirchen due to strict amateur rules of participation.

However, at the World Ski Championships 1936, held in Innsbruck again, she took part. The former World Cup was actually a kind of " counter-event " because at the Olympic Games in Garmisch -Partenkirchen very many runners were not allowed to participate because of the amateur rules. In the descent on the Patscherkofel she fell and only reached the fifth place, which they had no chance to win the combined score. However, in the slalom on the Mutterer Alm, she won the gold medal. After the first run it was still in third place. However, the superior fastest time in the second run was enough for the win and also for the bronze medal in the combination.

1936 won Gerda paumgarten also the slalom and the combination at the prestigious Arlberg - Kandahar race in St. Anton 1937 and a giant slalom in Davos. After her retirement in 1938, she emigrated to the U.S., where her brother Harald was already drawn several years earlier. After the USA entered the war she was interned for a short time. Paumgarten again worked as a ski instructor and contributed significantly to the spread of Alpine skiing in North America. After the war she returned to St. Anton; her last years she spent in Vienna. She was buried on the cemetery Neustift.

Sporting successes

World Championships

  • Cortina d' Ampezzo 1932: 7 departure, 10 combination, 11.Slalom
  • Innsbruck 1933: 2 combination, 3rd exit, 6th slalom
  • Innsbruck 1936: 1 slalom, third combination, 5th exit