People have been using skis to get across the snow for thousands of years. There are even 10,000-year-old wall paintings in China that suggest the use of skis to traverse snowy conditions. Fast forward to more modern times and you’ll see that skiing started to become a popular activity for recreation and sport around the mid-1800s, and it quickly turned into what we know and love today. This paved the way for world class skiing resorts like Meribel and Courchevel, and now millions of people jet off every year to get on their skis and glide down the mountains.
To celebrate the sport of skiing and provide some inspiration the next time you’re on the slopes, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best skiers of all time. Read up on these athletes and get motivated to perform at your best the next time you pull on the skis.
Bode Miller once said that he doesn’t want to win races so much as to ski as fast as the universe would allow. That seems like as apt a description as there could be for the champion American skier, who leaves everything out there every time he heads out on the slopes. Bode Miller is one of only five men to win world cup races in all of the five disciplines – Super-G, downhill, slalom, giant slalom and combined – which is a testament to his versatility as an athlete.
Alberto Tomba – or ‘Tomba la Bomba’ to his fans – was the skier to beat in the 1980s and 1990s. With three Olympic golds, two World Championships and nine World Cup season titles, it’s safe to say that Alberto Tomba had to have a lot of space on his trophy shelf. A colourful character, Tomba used to hit the headlines for his life off the slopes as much as he did for his achievements on it.
Klammer is a former world champion who dominated the downhill event for four consecutive World Cup seasons. Known for his bravery, he often showed death-defying courage to come out on top against the competition. Incredibly, ‘The Kaiser’ was also talented at motor racing, winning a round of the prestigious Euopean Touring Car Championships after his retirement from skiing.
You may also like: 8 Skiing Tips to Help You Look Like a Pro
Hirscher is the youngest name on this list and for good reason. After bursting into the public eye with his performances in the 2010 Winter Olympics, Hirscher became the most successful male Austrian giant slalom skier and he’s still adding to his collection of winner’s medals. The 28-year-old has won six consecutive World Cup titles, and it looks like he’s still going from strength to strength.
Before Zlatan Ibrahimovic, there was Ingemar Stenmark. Regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish sportsmen ever, Stenmark dominated the sport of skiing like no one before him. In fact, the Swede was so dominant that he used to beat the competition by seconds, instead of just hundredths of a second. Controversially, he was never allowed to participate in the 1984 Winter Olympics because he accepted promotional payments directly, instead of through the national ski federation. Still, the legend of Stenmark still burns brightly for skiing fans around the world.
You may also like: The Ultimate Ski Runs in the Three Valleys
Despite suffering from injuries throughout her career, Lindsey Vonn is still the most successful downhill skier ever. With a collection of titles including four World Cup championships and a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics, she’ll go down in history as one of the best to ever do it. Here’s hoping she can put her run of injuries behind her and finish her career like she started it.
We hope you enjoyed our list, and don’t forget to check out all of their highlights to see just why they’re regarded as some of the greatest skiers of all time. If this has provided you with the motivation you needed to get on your favourite piste and emulate these athletes then make sure you treat yourself to only the very best in luxury accommodation. Our catered ski chalets in Meribel and luxury chalets in Courchevel were built to provide the ultimate in skiing indulgence, so make sure you take a look at our availability and make your booking with Alpine Infusion today.