Hermann Maier

Hermann Maier ( born December 7, 1972 in Altenmarkt im Pongau) is a former alpine skier from Flachau, Austria. He was twice Olympic champion, three-time world champion, won the World Cup four times and ten World Cup discipline ratings. When choosing to Austria's sportsman of the year, he was awarded four times (a record in the men's ) and also received two honorary awards. He also received a 2004 Laureus World Sports Award for "Comeback of the Year".

  • 2.1 The Olympic Games
  • 2.2 World Championships
  • 2.3 World Cup ( top 5 results)
  • 2.4 Individual World Cup wins


Beginning and breakthrough (1996-1997)

Hermann Maier, a bricklayer and certified ski instructor, suffered in his youth Osgood-Schlatter disease, which his talent hidden stay long. On 6 January 1996 he participated as a precursor part in a World Cup giant slalom in his hometown of Flachau and fell on the fact that he would have occupied twelfth place in the event of a rating. The Austrian Ski Association honored this achievement and let Maier two days later for the first time in the European Cup start in a giant slalom in Les Arcs, where he finished second behind Steve Locher. After further inserts and five victories in the European Cup Hermann Maier was still in the same season, on 10 February 1996 in a giant slalom in Hinterstoder at the age of 23 years his World Cup debut and took 26th place and straight into the points.

His first full World Cup season 1996/97 was, however, mixed. After Maier was hitherto used only in the giant slalom, he crashed on January 11, 1997 hard at his first World Cup downhill in Chamonix and was injured on one hand, so that a nomination for the World Championships in Sestriere was out of the question. But right at the World Cup comeback in the two super - G in Garmisch -Partenkirchen Maier pointed out. After the second rank behind the Frenchman Luc Alphand reached his first World Cup podium on 21 February 1997, he celebrated two days later, on February 23, his first World Cup victory and referred Kristian Ghedina and Lasse Kjus on the courts.

Breakthrough and double Olympic champion (1997/ 98)

The real breakthrough Hermann Maier but only in the 1997/98 season. The Flachauer won this winter two World Cup downhills, three giant slaloms, a combination and four super- Gs. Maier thus secured for the first time the World Cup ahead of his two teammates Andreas Schifferer and Stephan Eberharter and also won the crystal balls in Super -G and giant slalom. In the downhill World Cup, the Salzburg had just beaten Schifferer.

This season, Hermann Maier took part in his first title fight. His footing at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan went spectacularly. The first contest, in which Maier took part, was the combination slalom, after which he lay in a promising position. Due to a snow storm that hit the Olympic ski slopes, had both the combination and the classic Downhill be moved again and were finally discharged on the same day. But already the downhill Maier was hard to fall. After about 18 seconds of driving time the Austrians raised in an S-curve from, sailed almost 40 meters horizontally through the air and eventually landed in deep snow off-piste. However, He suffered only minor injuries to the knee and shoulder, took part in the Olympic super-G three days later and won the gold medal ahead of sensational Hans Knauss and Didier Cuche. Even in the giant slalom Maier was no chance of competition and referred Eberharter and Michael of Grünigen to the places. When he was asked what he thought during his fall, he said: " If I now win gold, I 'm immortal " The images of his fall went around the world, were also among the major U.S. broadcasters, an event, and managed to on almost all front pages. By this fall, and the subsequent achievements Hermann Maier gained worldwide fame and they gave him the nickname " Herminator " - an allusion to the born in Austria "Terminator" Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1998, Maier was first awarded by the International Association of Ski Journalists with the Skieur d'Or.

Further success (1998-2001)

The other years were no less successful for the double Olympic champion. In the 1998/99 season Maier had in the World Cup, although the Norwegians Lasse Kjus and Kjetil André Aamodt to defer, but he secured adjacent to the small crystal globe for super- G World Cup at the 1999 World Cup in Vail / Beaver Creek two world titles. After he had to share the title in his best discipline, the Super -G, with Lasse Kjus, he held the Norwegians in the downhill at a distance. World Cup Dominator Kjus became vice world champion.

The following season 1999/2000 the Austrians dominated at will. With exactly 2000 World Cup points Hermann Maier presented to a valid record in the men's until today. In addition to the crystal globe for the overall World Cup, the Flachauer also secured those for downhill, super -G and giant slalom.

Even in winter 2000/ 01 Maier won the crystal in its three specialized disciplines as well as in the World Cup. This season he was in the World Cup is 13 times successfully - including his only victory in the downhill on the Streif in Kitzbühel - which he set the record of Sweden Ingemar Stenmark from the 1978/79 season. Due to this success, the expectations for the home World Cup in 2001 in St. Anton am Arlberg were naturally large. But Maier could with silver in downhill skiing behind Hannes Trinkl and bronze in his favorite event, the super -G, satisfied neither in the downhill, even in the super-G and had to defend his title. In the Giant Slalom at the Salzburg missed a hundredth of a second bronze medal and finished fourth.

Motorcycle accident (2001)

During an evening ride on the motorcycle Maier was involved on 24 August 2001 in Radstadt, near his home town in a serious accident: Maier overtook a car and was captured there by a wrong -turning cars. He retired to an open lower leg fracture on the right leg and numerous other serious injuries. Maier was operated in the Emergency Hospital Salzburg seven hours. Initially it was not clear whether he ever would skiing, again because even a leg amputation was considered. Maier later received 1.45 million euro sum ​​insured and by comparison an undisclosed sum of the other party, who was convicted of negligent injury in addition to 750 euro fine. The court found a small amount of blame Maiers for overtaking at confusing traffic situation.

Hermann Maier had thus omit in Salt Lake City the entire 2001/02 season and the 2002 Winter Olympics. The role of the dominant Skirennläufers took over for the next two seasons of the previously seasoned in his shadow rival Eberharter.

Comeback and continued success (2003-2006)

Due to the lengthy healing process Hermann Maier was only able to participate again in the winter of 2002 /03. On 14 January Maier made ​​his long-awaited comeback in the giant slalom in Adelboden, where he however failed to qualify for the second run itself. After sensational results on the slopes of Wengen and Kitzbühel, where he even finished sixth, Maier celebrated on 27 January 2003 at the Super -G at his favorite track, the Streif in Kitzbühel, his first World Cup victory after the injury, his 42 total. Only six days later he was at the 2003 World Championships in St. Moritz ex aequo with the Americans Bode Miller vice world champion in the super -G, beaten only by Stephan Eberharter. After a good eighth place in the World Cup downhill Maier finished this season.

The sensational comeback by the Austrian continued into the following season 2003/ 04. Maier celebrated this season with five wins ( three in the Super- G, two in the downhill ) and secured the fourth time the World Cup, by imposing by 42 counter against his teammates and opponents sharpest Eberharter. Also the crystal ball in the Super- G went to Salzburg. These two balls should be the last. For his brilliant return to the ski circuit Maier was awarded the 2004 Laureus World Sports Award for "Comeback of the Year", and the award Skieur d'Or, he was for the second time.

From the media Maier has already been dismissed after only one win of the season in the Super G in Kitzbuehel during the 2005 World Championships in Bormio as " old iron " of the Austrian Ski Racer. With a ranking of 17 in the downhill and finished fourth in the super- G, the critics were right first. But in his last competition hit the Flachau yet to even. Nearly four years after his recent victory in this discipline he became world champion in giant slalom ahead of teammate Benjamin Raich and Daron Rahlves of the USA. In the rest of the season Maier still won downhill and super -G in Kvitfjell, but lost the season finale in Lenzerheide with the ninth already sure translucent super-G Crystal Ball against Bode Miller.

Similarly, bitter was the finale of season 2005/06. Again, Hermann Maier traveled as a super -G World Cup leader on, finished fourth and eventually had two points off the Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal, who took third place nine hundredths of a second ahead of Maier. But the highlight of this season in which Maier ever celebrated a victory in downhill, super -G and giant slalom, the Olympic Winter Games in Turin were - for the Austrians only the second for those in Nagano in 1998. After finishing sixth in the downhill to Hermann Maier took silver in super -G and bronze in the giant slalom. In the super -G, the Olympic champion from 1998 had only 13 hundredths give that from 1992, 2002 and again in 2006, Kjetil André Aamodt of Norway's beaten. In the giant slalom Benjamin Raich and Frenchman Joël Chenal were just faster than the Salzburg.

The last years before the End of career (2007-2009)

The Seasons 2006/ 07 and 2007/ 08 were anything to be optimal for Maier. He won a single World Cup race in these two winters and was only two times on the podium - in December 2006 as the third in the Super - G in Hinterstoder and in January 2008 as the second in the same discipline in Kitzbühel. Also at the 2007 World Championships in Åre Maier was successful with seventh in the super G, 13th in the downhill and rank 21 as the defending champion in the giant slalom not. Critics called him as not aggressive enough and accused him of lack of motivation and lack of commitment. A Skiwechsel of Maier's long -term partner to Atomic HEAD in June 2007, initially fertilized not.

Successes Maier recorded again until the 2008/ 09 season. Although a hairline crack in an intervertebral disc of the lumbar spine was with him after the opening race in Soelden found, but Maier went anyway with the overseas races. There he won on November 30, 2008 on surprising the Super -G of Lake Louise -. Maier's first World Cup win since the departure of Garmisch -Partenkirchen in January 2006 Also in the second season Super -G in Beaver Creek drove Maier with second place on the podium. The finale traveled as a super -G World Cup leader to Åre Maier had there with a disappointing 17th place finish and fell in the discipline rating back in fourth. At the 2009 World Championships in Val d'Isere Maier finished weakened by a persistent chill the 18th place in the Super G and was awarded the sixth place in the best Austrian descent. After the season finale, he had surgery on his right knee and left all snow training sessions for the new season from.

On 13 October 2009 Maier announced in a hastily called press conference his retirement from skiing known.

After a career as a ski racer (since 2009)

In the Austrian media Maier is still very present, not least due to its long-term advertising contract with the Raiffeisen Bank. He is, as already seen in his playing days as an athlete regularly in television commercials or on billboards. 2013 Maier worked as an actor with a supporting role in the produced feature-length spin-off from Inspector Rex " Ice Age".

In December 2010, Hermann Maier was team leader of the victorious Austrian team in contention for the race to the South Pole.


Maier won 54 World Cup races: 24 Super - Gs ( record ), 15 runs, 14 giant slalom and one combination. He is by Ingemar Stenmark (86 wins) the second most successful alpine skier World Cup history. With 96 podium finishes, he ranks third behind Stenmark and Marc Girardelli. Maier also counts himself by winning the giant slalom in Val d'Isere in 1997 to his statistics, which has been taken from him due to the Abschnallens of the ski in front of the red line.

Overall, Maier won the overall World Cup four times ( only Girardelli won once more) and ten World Cup discipline ratings: five times in the Super -G ( record with Aksel Lund Svindal ), three in giant slalom and two in the downhill.

Olympic games

  • Nagano 1998: 1 Super -G, Giant Slalom 1
  • Turin 2006: 2 Super -G, Giant Slalom 3rd, 6th departure

World Championships

  • Vail 1999: 1st exit, first Super -G
  • St. Anton 2001: 2nd exit, third Super -G, Giant Slalom 4
  • St. Moritz 2003: 2 Super -G, downhill 8
  • Bormio 2005: 1st Giant Slalom, Super -G 4, 17 departure
  • Åre 2007: 7 Super -G, Downhill 13, 21 Giant Slalom
  • Val d'Isere 2009: 6 downhill, super-G 18

World Cup ( top 5 results)

Individual World Cup victories


Giant Slalom

Super -G



  • Laureus World Sports Award for "Comeback of the Year": 2004
  • Austrian Sportsman of the Year: 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001
  • Austrian Sportsman of the Year - Special Award for Comeback of the Year: 2003
  • Austrian Sportsman of the Year - Special Award for Maier's career: 2009
  • Grand Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria: 1998
  • 2nd place in the election for world athletes of 1998 behind Zinedine Zidane ( elected by the sports journalists of the international news agency " Reuters " )
  • Ring of Salzburg: 2006
  • Skieur d'Or: 1998 and 2004


Raised in Flachau Hermann Maier lives in Weissenbach am Attersee. His brother is the former snowboarder Alexander Maier, his second cousin, the alpine skier and Olympic champion Andrea Fischbacher. He and his girlfriend Carina are the parents of twins. The two girls were born on 29 August 2013.