Alpine skiing at the 1964 Winter Olympics – Men's downhill
The Men's downhill competition of the 1964 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, Austria, was held at Patscherkofel on Thursday, 30 January. The defending world champion was Karl Schranz of Austria, and defending Olympic champion Jean Vuarnet of France had retired from competition.
at the IX Olympic Winter Games
|Date||30 January 1964|
|Competitors||84 from 27 nations|
|Vertical||867 m (2,844 ft)|
|Top elevation||1,952 m (6,404 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,085 m (3,560 ft)|
The race course had a number of casualties during training runs, including the death of Ross Milne of Australia. This led to a label of "Course of Fear." Zimmermann was favored by many to win the downhill and to the delight of the Austrian fans he won by 0.74 seconds.
The starting gate was at an elevation of 1,952 m (6,404 ft), and the vertical drop was 867 m (2,844 ft). The course length was 3.120 km (1.939 mi) and Zimmerman's winning run resulted in an average speed of 81.297 km/h (50.52 mph), with an average vertical descent rate of 6.275 m/s (20.59 ft/s). Following the victory, Zimmerman was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the United States.
A dozen years later in 1976, Franz Klammer raced on a slightly shorter course (by 100 metres (110 yards)) and shaved more than 32 seconds off of Zimmerman's time to famously win the Olympic downhill.
- "Offizieller Bericht der IX. Olympischen Winterspiele Innsbruck 1964" (PDF). Austrian Federal Publishing House for Instruction, Science and Art, Vienna and Munich. LA84 Foundation. 1964. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- "1962 World Championships results". FIS. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- "Alpine Skiing at the 1964 Innsbruck Winter Games: Men's Downhill". Sports Reference. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
- "Australian skier killed in Olympic drill". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Associated Press. January 26, 1964. p. 41.
- "Aussie's Milne dies of injuries". Bend (OR) Bulletin. UPI. January 25, 1964. p. 5.
- Ress, Paul (January 27, 1964). "A fight for life by the home team". Sports Illustrated. p. 32. Archived from the original on January 2, 2013.
- Jenkins, Dan (February 10, 1964). "Russian blades and fast French skis". Sports Illustrated. p. 14. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012.
- Johnson, William Oscar (16 February 1976). "On came the heroes". Sports Illustrated. p. 10.