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18 November 2015

A true Pop Icon: Ingemar Stenmark

An example of style and uniqueness, just like Jacuzzi. Ingemar Stenmark isn't just the greatest slalom specialist of all time, but a true icon.

He won more World Cup races than any other alpine skier in history: 86 wins (40 slaloms and 46 giant slaloms), 32 ahead of Hermann Maier, but his greatness is not only in stats. Born in 1956, Stenmark was the symbol of the passage of alpine skiing from the faux amateurism to professionalism.

In 1976, 1977 and 1978 won his three World Cup titles, but from 1979 the changing of the rules penalized him, who didn’t like downhill and high speeds.

At the World Championships in 1978, in Garmisch, Stenmark won slalom and giant slalom, and at Winter Olympics in Lake Placid (1980) won again two gold medals. At the World Championships in 1982, in Schladming, he won the gold medal only in slalom, in giant slalom his rule was interrupted by Steve Mahre.

Stenmark was not allowed to participate in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo (a season in which he was the best giant slalom and second best slalom racer) by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for accepting promotional payments directly, rather than through the national ski federation. An incredible situation, seen through the eyes of today.

Stenmark was allowed back into the Olympic competition in 1988, but he was too old (however he had the fastest second run of the slalom competition). He retired from World Cup competition at the end of the 1989 season in March, few days before his 33rd birthday.

The greatest alpine skier of all time? Yes. Not only for victories, but for being the first pop icon of the alpine skiing and a model for people that enjoy #thebestmomentoftheday.

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