TWO-TIME German Olympic ski champion Rosi Mittermaier has died at the age of 72.
One of the stars of the 1976 Winter Olympics, Mittermaier passed away after a “serious illness” surrounded by family.
A statement released by her loved ones read: “We as a family announce the sad news that our beloved wife, mum and grandma passed away peacefully on January 4th, 2023 after a serious illness surrounded by the family.”
Mittermaier is regarded as one of the greatest skiers in history, having made her World Cup debut aged just 16 in 1967.
But her biggest success as a pro athlete undoubtedly came in 1976.
Aged 25, she finally won her first overall World Cup title, plus the slalom and combined discipline titles.
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That same year, Mittermaier also dominated the slopes at the Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.
She won gold medals in both the downhill and slalom events.
And Mittermaier even took silver in the giant slalom too.
Only Soviet Union cross-country skier Raisa Smetanina could match her achievements.
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And Mittermaier became a national icon in Germany as a result, earning the nickname ‘Gold Rosi’.
But despite being at the peak of her career, and only nine years on from her debut as a teen, Mittermaier decided to retire from skiing.
Finishing with 16 German national titles, she eventually married Christian Neureuther, himself a winner of six World Cup slalom races.
And the couple’s son Felix is a former World champion skier who only retired from the spot in 2019.
After leaving the world of skiing, Mittermaier became involved in charitable work while also commentating for German TV.
And in 2000 she set up a charity to help children suffering from rheumatism.
Source: Athletics - thesun.co.uk