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Franz Klammer's 1976 Downhill Run

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Klammer's gold medal run at the 1976 Olympics in Innbruck was the greatest single ski run I can ever recall all considered....talk about balls to the wall and skiing on the edge!! He needed a perfect run in front of his own countryman to beat a perfect run laid out by Bernard Russi and pulled it off even though as he said "I thought I was going to crash the whole way down"

Any links to the video of this??

On the eve of the Olympics here's to "The Kaiser" the hands down greatest downhiller ever!

PS: best Olympic crash...Maier's AIR LUFTHASA crash is 1998
post #2 of 25
Best crash: Todd Brooker at the Hanenkam, Kitzbuel.

Any links to that one?
post #3 of 25

Klammer's best run; Rahlves best crash

I think Klammer's DH run in '76 was one of the finest moments in all sports, at least in my lifetime. Skiing dead last in the first heat, not only did he have to beat the defending olympic champ, he had to beat his own personal best on the hill by 2 seconds to win. I've never seen an athlete pour more of himself into an effort. Balls to the wall, on the edge, over the edge and back. He says he took a peek at the crowd about halfway down and thought they weren't cheering enough, figured he wasn't doing very good, and changed his plan for the last half of the run. Actually changed his strategy to win, while skiing beyond himself, in a run that takes less than 2 minutes. I've been looking for a video of it lately, but can't find one. If you find one, I'd love to have it. You kind of need a setup for the video -- Klammer the heavy favorite, Russi the defending champ, in the lead as the third skier, yada yada. But just watching Klammer flirting with disaster is enough.

NBC's 2006 Olympic site has some good videos of the current athletes at http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/index.html. It includes Maier's '98 spill, and Rahlves' GS wipeout at Adelboden in '05, which I think is more spectacular.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSki
I think Klammer's DH run in '76 was one of the finest moments in all sports, at least in my lifetime.
I agree completely. I believe he actually went out of the beaten track a couple of times, at least once appearing to nick a hay bale?
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell
Klammer's gold medal run at the 1976 Olympics in Innbruck was the greatest single ski run I can ever recall all considered....
PS: best Olympic crash...Maier's AIR LUFTHASA crash is 1998
Despite all the fine US finishes in Olympic Alpine events over the years, those two Olympic performances/incidents are the most vividly memorable to me as well. I also have distant childhood memories of sitting in front of tube watching Jean Claude Killy's foggy and controversial victory for triple gold medal sweep in Grenoble '68.

Here's hoping some great new Olympic memories are made over the next few weeks.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by NE1
I agree completely. I believe he actually went out of the beaten track a couple of times, at least once appearing to nick a hay bale?
He just about missed a gate at the top. The wide turn in the bottom half was part of his revised strategy, I think. There's a good interview with him about the race at nbcolympics.com. Dude skis one of the defining runs of olympic downhill, and he's still as modest as ever. I'll take that attitude over Bode Miller's any day.
post #7 of 25
Seeing Klammer win the Olympic downhill when I was a little kid made me want to be a downhill racer. I had to beg my Dad for years to let me race before he finally relented (ignorance of the sport made him fearful for my safety). Getting him to shell out all that dough for decent training was another matter! Still, I did alright, but more importantly I got to experience the greatest thrill an athlete can have, skiing FAST!

Here's a link to a crappy little clip of the Brooker crash, hope it works:
http://media.putfile.com/Todd-Brooke...s-at-Kitzbuhel
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSki
NBC's 2006 Olympic site has some good videos of the current athletes at http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/index.html. It includes Maier's '98 spill, and Rahlves' GS wipeout at Adelboden in '05, which I think is more spectacular.
I can't get any of the videos to play....anyone else have any luck?
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSki
I think Klammer's DH run in '76 was one of the finest moments in all sports, at least in my lifetime. Skiing dead last in the first heat, not only did he have to beat the defending olympic champ, he had to beat his own personal best on the hill by 2 seconds to win.
The DH is only one heat...Klammer gives the US Hockey Team performance in 1980 a run for its money.
post #10 of 25
What MrSki meant was that he was skiing dead last in the first seed. At that time, the top 15 ranked skiers drew randomly for the start order and he got the number 15th bib. As far as the Todd Brooker crash, the video shows the worst part of it. The one key part missing is when he came across the side hill Brooker's ski came off and what caused his fall is when he stepped on the "ski" it was missing and he actually stepped on the snow which caused him to fall. I still have that clip on one of my tapes where Don Cherry "honored'" him during intermission on CBC Hockey night in Canada.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norefjell
. The one key part missing is when he came across the side hill Brooker's ski came off and what caused his fall is when he stepped on the "ski" it was missing and he actually stepped on the snow which caused him to fall. I still have that clip on one of my tapes where Don Cherry "honored'" him during intermission on CBC Hockey night in Canada.
Yeah, that is key. It just popped off for no reason at all....
post #12 of 25
Did Booker survive that? Holy shit does that look painful. He certainly doesn't look conscious by the time he makes it to the nets.
post #13 of 25
Air Lufthansa (even though it's a German airline...not Austrian)
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...ier+1998+crash
post #14 of 25
damn that maier crash is one gnarly wreck!
post #15 of 25
His career was over. Last results:

http://www.ski-db.com/db/profiles/brkto_l30.asp
post #16 of 25
I just found a clip of the famous Vinko Bogataj wipeout, "the agony of defeat" one. Looking at it now, it doesn't look that bad.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Mr.Ski originally wrote:
Dude skis one of the defining runs of olympic downhill, and he's still as modest as ever. I'll take that attitude over Bode Miller's any day.


Really? I recall Klammer going out of his way before the 1984 Sarajevo games to put down Bill Johnson, deride him as a talentless fluke skier, call him a "nose-picker" (in German--apparently what the top guys called the lesser competitors at the bottom of the draw), etc.

Sure, Klammer was royalty by then, but he made a point of acting like it, as well. Not nice. Typical (at the time) Euro smugness personified.

It was nice imagining him having to consume an olympic-sized helping of crow after Billy and the Mahres served it up. Sweet.

NOTE: This is not a Euro-trashing. Just not sure Klammer, specifically, was so very charming in his time.
post #18 of 25
Don't know why that was all in bold. Sorry!
-Shawn
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnB

I recall Klammer going out of his way before the 1984 Sarajevo games to put down Bill Johnson, deride him as a talentless fluke skier, call him a "nose-picker" (in German--apparently what the top guys called the lesser competitors at the bottom of the draw), etc.
Dang, Shawn, I seem to be suffering from selective memory. I don't remember that one. Sorry about that. In Klammer's defense, he was facing the end of his career then, and maybe the booger was lost in translation? It's that Austrian ego, like Maier saying he's glad Bode Miller can win some races, since the Austrian fans are getting bored with seeing Austrians win all the time.

You still can't knock that '76 effort. And judging from the clips on nbcolympics.com, he made it through his decline OK.
post #20 of 25
Even my father still talks about that run! I remember watching the run on television live and thinking that it looked like a controlled fall the whole way (I believe Franz recalls it the same way).
post #21 of 25

Bill Johnson at Lauberhorn

Anyone remember Bill Johnson's first WC win at the Lauberhorn in 84? He twice had a leg bounce up to shoulder height, skied off the course and still won. I would love to see video of that again.
post #22 of 25
No doubt about it the Kaiser's run in 76 inspired me to buy my first skis !

Prior to that , i thought that winter sports was strictly ---Hoops !!
post #23 of 25

Klammer

Agreed. One of the all-time great sports moments. Can anyone find it online?
post #24 of 25
The most exciting 2 minutes in sports I've ever seen. Johnson's near crashes were pretty impressive too. Unfortunately, the last one was not a near-miss.
post #25 of 25
You can see a small clip of Klammer´s downhill run here:

http://www.olympic.org/uk/utilities/...ediaTy pe=vid

Pedro Maia
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