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November 17, 1935 - August 24, 2009
Toni Sailer was one of the greatest alpine skiers of all time, and for many years he was the head coach of Whistler's Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp. He was born Anton Englebert Sailer in Kitzbühel in 1935, where he was trained as a glazier and tin smith.
Sailer won more than 170 major ski races and helped to shape Austria's image as a skiing nation. At the 1956 Olympics in Cortina, Italy, Sailer became the first skier to win all three alpine gold medals at a Winter Olympics. In addition to these Olympic victories, he also collected seven world championship gold medals and one silver.
At the age of 23 he retired from competition and went on to become a film and singing star, playing the leading role in more than 20 movies. In the later 1960s Sailer was recruited by Roy Ferris and Allan White, owners of the Cheakamus Inn, to lead the summer ski camp they organized on Whistler Mountain.
For more than a decade Sailer spent his summers in Whistler, coaching young ski racers. Members of the camp's coaching staff included Nancy Greene Raine, French innovator Patrick Russel, Greg Lee and freestyle legend Wayne Wong.
Sailer married his first wife, Gaby Rummeny, in Vancouver in 1976. They had a son together named Florian. Years after Rummeny passed away Sailer got remarried to a woman named Hedwig Fischer.
Sailer also produced Toni Sailer skis in Canada during the early 1970s and served as technical director of the Austrian Ski Federation between 1972 and 1976. As well, for many years Sailer was the race director of the prestigious Hahnenkamm downhill in his hometown of Kitzbühel.
In 1985, Sailer was awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in 1999 he was awarded Austria's sportsman of the century.
He died of cancer in Innsbruck, Austria in 2009 at the age of 73.
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- Article in the Pique, from 27 Aug. 2009: "Toni Sailer dies in Innsbruck"