Armin Zöggeler OMRI (born 4 January 1974) is a retired Italian luger and double Olympic champion. He is one of the most successful men in the sport, nicknamed Il Cannibale ("The Cannibal"), for his notable series of victories, or The Iceblood Champion, for his always cold, rational approach to the races. Fellow luger Tucker West described Zöggeler as the sport's equivalent of Michael Jordan.
|Born||4 January 1974|
Merano, South Tyrol, Italy
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||85 kg (187 lb)|
|Club||Centro Sportivo Carabinieri|
At the Winter Olympic Games, Zöggeler has won six medals in six consecutive Olympics – and this is a record in sport. He also has sixteen medals at the FIL World Luge Championships. At the FIL European Luge Championships, Zöggeler has earned eighteen medals.
Zöggeler was born in Meran, South Tyrol, into a farming family. A Carabiniere by profession, he began to luge at a very young age, over natural tracks. He won the junior World Cup when he was 14, and made his debut with the Italian national team at the age of 19. He also took three medals at the Junior World Championships: a silver in 1992 followed by two golds in 1993 and 1994. Despite a lack of tracks in Italy until the construction of the Cesana Pariol track for the 2006 Winter Olympics, he evolved into one of the most effective lugers ever.
Zöggeler lives in the town of Lana, in South Tyrol. He got married on 12 May 2007, and had two children, Nina and Thomas. During times when he is not training, Zöggeler enjoys swimming, field hockey, and collecting and watching television dramas. He is the uncle of fellow luger Sandra Robatscher.
At the Winter Olympics, Zöggeler has won six medals in the same individual competition in six consecutive Olympics, the first to do so; including two golds (2002, 2006), one silver (1998), and three bronze (1994, 2010, 2014).
He has sixteen medals at the FIL World Luge Championships, including six golds (Men's singles: 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2011), five silvers (Men's singles: 2000, 2007, 2009; Mixed team: 1995, 2007), and five bronzes (Mixed team: 1996, 1997, 2004, 2005, 2012).
At the FIL European Luge Championships, Zöggeler has earned eighteen medals. This includes four golds (Men's singles: 2004, 2008 and 2014; Mixed team: 1994), six silvers (Men's singles: 2006, 2012; Mixed team: 1998, 2004, 2006 and 2013), and eight bronzes (Men's singles: 1994, 2000, 2002; Mixed team: 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2014).
He won the overall Luge World Cup in men's singles ten times (1997–98, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10 and 2010–11). This is another record together with Markus Prock.
Zöggeler's 57 individual wins in the World Cup (as of January 2014[update]), he is first of all time, beating the previous record of 33 wins by both German Georg Hackl and Austrian Markus Prock. He also took 26 seconds and 20 thirds in World Cup races.
He also won 20 Italian national championship titles between 1993 and 2013.
Zöggeler was made a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2010.
In March 2018 a 37-minute documentary film Armin Zöggeler: La leggenda dello slittino (Armin Zöggeler: the Legend of Luge) was exhibited and made available for loan free of charge in Bolzano, with Zöggeler meeting members of the audience after the screening.
Zöggeler carried the Italian flag at the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics.
For the 2010 Winter Olympics, Zöggeler was given the opportunity to carry the flag for Italy at the opening ceremony, but he declined because the first two runs of the Olympic luge competition were scheduled at the Whistler Sliding Centre for the following evening. The honour instead went to cross-country skier Giorgio Di Centa.
He carried the flag for the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
On 9 February 2014, Zöggeler became the first person in history to win six medals in the same individual competition in six consecutive Olympics, by winning a bronze. Other athletes who won medals in six consecutive Olympics did not do so in the same individual competition: Aladár Gerevich, a fencer from Hungary, won six gold medals between 1932 and 1960 with the Hungarian team; Elisabeta Lipă, a rower from Romania, won her medals between 1984 and 2004 in different disciplines (single scull, double scull, quadruple scull and eight).
In October 2014, Zöggeler announced his retirement from competition, taking up a post as head of materials research and development for the Italian luge team, working with the Italian National Olympic Committee, the Italian Winter Sports Federation and Ferrari. He joined the Italian National Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission in 2016.
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- ^ a b Macur, Juliet (8 February 2014). "The Winning Formula of Luge's 'Old Man'". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
- ^ FIL, ed. (14 June 2019). "Armin Zöggeler new Member of Hall of Fame". fil-luge.org. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
- ^ a b c "Armin Zöggeler". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
- ^ "Robatscher wins snow-shortened luge World Cup event". The News Tribune. 3 February 2019. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
- ^ a b Joe Menzer (9 February 2014). "Ageless Wonder Armin Zoeggeler Captures 6th Straight Olympic Luge Medal". Associated Press. Bleacher Report.
- ^ a b Losi, Mattia (15 October 2014). "Armin Zöggeler, l'annuncio del ritiro è la discesa più difficile" [Armin Zöggeler, the announcement of retirement is the most difficult descent]. ilsole24ore.com (in Italian). Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- ^ "Armin Zöggeler, al Centro Trevi il film sulla sua vita" [Armin Zöggeler, at the Trevi Center, the film about his life]. altoadige.it (in Italian). 6 March 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- ^ a b Associated Press (8 October 2013). "Luge great Armin Zoggeler carry Italy's flag into Sochi". CBC News. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- ^ "Armin Zoeggeler: Athlete365". olympic.org. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- Armin Zoeggeler "Well aware of this great honour". at the Fédération Internationale de Luge de Course (3 February 2010 article accessed 3 February 2010.)
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- "List of European luge champions" (in German). Archived from the original on 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2007-07-14.
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- Armin Zöggeler at the International Luge Federation
- Armin Zöggeler at Olympedia
- Armin Zoeggeler at Olympics.com
- Armin Zoeggeler at the Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (in Italian)