Herbert Plank

Herbert Plank ( born September 3, 1954 in Sterzing ) is an Italian former Alpine skier. After Zeno Colò and to the era of Kristian Ghedina the South Tyrol was considered the most successful skier in Italy. Among others, he was able to win the first Italian to the exit on the Saslong in Val Gardena in December 1977.


The South Tyrolean Plank won in 1972 at the inaugural European Junior Championship gold medal in the downhill. After that, he became one of the few riders who could provide the dominant Austrian team led by Franz Klammer and the so-called Crazy Canucks stand up to the World Cup downhills. Between 1973 and 1980 he celebrated five victories. Overall, Plank was also placed 46 times in the top ten, almost without exception at exit runs. In the technical disciplines he was spotty at the start.

The greatest success of his career, he managed at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. In downhill skiing at Patscherkofel he won behind his eternal rival Franz Klammer and Bernhard Russi the bronze medal. Four years later at the Winter Games in Lake Placid, he came again to sixth place.

After the 1980/81 season Plank announced his retirement from skiing. His son Andy is also ski racer and World Junior Champion in 2009 in the downhill.


Olympic Winter Games

  • Innsbruck 1976: 3rd exit
  • Lake Placid 1980: 6 Departure

World Cup

  • 2nd place in the downhill Evaluation 1975/76
  • 3rd place in the downhill rating in 1973/74, 1974/75 1977 /78 1979/80
  • A total of 16 podiums, 5 wins:

European Junior Championships

  • Madonna di Campiglio 1972 1st exit

Italian Championships

Plank won a total of seven Italian league title:

  • Exit ( 5): 1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981
  • Combination (2 ): 1975, 1979