Lasse Kjus (born 14 January 1971) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Norway. He won the overall World Cup title twice, an Olympic gold medal, and several World Championships.[1] His combined career total of 16 Olympic and World Championship medals ranks second all-time behind fellow Norwegian Kjetil André Aamodt.

Lasse Kjus
Alpine skier
Lasse Kjus.jpg
Kjus in January 2006
DisciplinesDownhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, combined
ClubBærums SK
Born (1971-01-14) 14 January 1971 (age 50)
Oslo, Norway
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
World Cup debut14 January 1990 (age 19)
RetiredMarch 2006 (age 35)
Olympics
Teams4 – (19942006)
Medals5 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams8 – (19912005)
Medals11 (3 gold)
World Cup
Seasons17 – (19902006)
Wins18 – (10 DH, 2 SG, 2 GS, 4 K)
Podiums60
Overall titles2 – (1996, 1999)
Discipline titles4 – (1 DH, 3 K)
Medal record
Men's alpine skiing
Representing  Norway
International alpine ski competitions
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 1 3 1
World Championships 3 8 0
Total 4 11 1
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1994 Lillehammer Combined
Silver medal – second place 1998 Nagano Downhill
Silver medal – second place 1998 Nagano Combined
Silver medal – second place 2002 Salt Lake City Downhill
Bronze medal – third place 2002 Salt Lake City Giant slalom
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1993 Morioka Combined
Gold medal – first place 1999 Vail Super-G
Gold medal – first place 1999 Vail Giant slalom
Silver medal – second place 1996 Sierra Nevada Combined
Silver medal – second place 1997 Sestriere Downhill
Silver medal – second place 1997 Sestriere Super-G
Silver medal – second place 1997 Sestriere Giant slalom
Silver medal – second place 1999 Vail Downhill
Silver medal – second place 1999 Vail Slalom
Silver medal – second place 1999 Vail Combined
Silver medal – second place 2003 St. Moritz Combined
Junior World Ski Championships
Gold medal – first place 1990 Zinal Giant slalom
Silver medal – second place 1990 Zinal Downhill
Silver medal – second place 1990 Zinal Combined
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Zinal Super-G
Bronze medal – third place 1990 Zinal Slalom

Racing careerEdit

Born in Oslo, Kjus grew up in Siggerud, but represented the club Bærums SK.

In February 1999, Kjus pulled off one of the most remarkable feats in the history of alpine skiing when he medaled in all 5 events at the 1999 World Championships in Vail, Colorado. Five skiers had previously earned four medals at a single World Championship (through 1980, the Winter Olympics also served as World Championships for alpine skiing): Toni Sailer of Austria in 1956 at Cortina and in 1958 at Bad Gastein, Marielle Goitschel of France in 1966 at Portillo, Chile, Jean-Claude Killy of France in 1968 at Grenoble, Rosi Mittermaier of Germany in 1976 at Innsbruck, and Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland in 1987 at Crans-Montana; the first four did so when only four medal events were contested, but no one before or since has medaled in all five alpine disciplines, downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined or Super-combined, at a single championship.

He started off on 2 February by tying Austrian great Hermann Maier for gold in super-G. Four days later, in the downhill at nearby Beaver Creek, Kjus settled for silver, 0.31 seconds behind Maier. On 9 February in the combined event, he narrowly missed his second gold, finishing in silver-medal position only 0.16 seconds behind compatriot Kjetil André Aamodt. With momentum building, Kjus captured gold in the giant slalom on 12 February, and then finished off his remarkable run two days later with silver in his weakest event, slalom. He had the lead after the first of two runs of slalom, but skied conservatively to assure he would win a fifth medal. He finished a scant 0.11 seconds behind Kalle Palander of Finland over two runs. Reflecting on his performance that day and the entire fortnight in Colorado, Kjus said "I always try my best, but I could never have dreamed ... maybe I could have skied faster in the second run, but I didn't want to be too aggressive. I knew I could get a podium, and that's all I wanted." He missed winning all five gold medals by a combined total of slightly more than half a second (0.58 seconds). Most impressively, he performed the feat while suffering from a chest infection which had dogged him all winter and often left him coughing and wheezing at the bottom of courses.

A particular curiosity was also his first heat in the Slalom race in Wengen, Switzerland, on 17 January 1999: He got out of the starting gate, got caught with the tip of his right ski, went backwards through the first gate, but finished the heat. He finished third overall – his best World Cup slalom result ever, documented on a YouTube video

Kjus raced for 17 seasons on the World Cup circuit; his first race was in January 1990 in Alta Badia, Italy, and his last in March 2006 in Åre, Sweden. He won 18 World Cup events (10 in downhill, 2 in super-G, 2 in giant slalom and 4 combined), attained 60 podiums, and had 150 top ten finishes.[1]

LegacyEdit

In February 2015 Kjus (and Aamodt) were selected as recipients of the Legends of Honor by the Vail Valley Foundation, and inducted into the International Ski Racing Hall of Fame.[2]

World Cup resultsEdit

Season standingsEdit

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1990 19 58 41 29 29
1991 20 9 13 11 23 33 2
1992 21 60 30 35
1993 22 12 19 4 37 9
1994 23 7 15 21 7 27 1
1995 24 6 24 9 26 9 3
1996 25 1 14 3 3 4
1997 26 13 32 22 6 16 2
1998 27 10 20 29 16 11
1999 28 1 14 14 7 1 1
2000 29 53 51 32 22 53
2001 30 3 23 8 8 5 1
2002 31 6 18 25 9 15 2
2003 32 31 44 35 11 37 7
2004 33 8 48 14 7 9 3
2005 34 7 53 7 22 18 2
2006 35 43 57 22 41 12

Season titlesEdit

2 overall, 1 downhill, 3 combined

Season Discipline
1994 Combined
1996 Overall
1999 Overall
Downhill
Combined
2001 Combined

^official season title in the combined discipline
was not awarded until the 2007 season

Race victoriesEdit

  • 18 wins – (10 DH, 2 SG, 2 GS, 4 K)
  • 60 podiums
Season Date Location Discipline
1994 16 Jan 1994 Kitzbühel, Austria Combined
1995 2 Feb 1995 Vail, USA Super-G
1996 21 Dec 1995 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
29 Dec 1995 Bormio, Italy Downhill
6 Mar 1996 Kvitfjell, Norway Downhill
1997 26 Jan 1997 Kitzbühel, Austria Combined
2 Mar 1997 Kvitfjell, Norway Downhill
1999 12 Dec 1998 Val-d'Isère, France Downhill
18 Dec 1998 Val Gardena, Italy Downhill
16 Jan 1999    Wengen, Switzerland Downhill
17 Jan 1999 Combined
22 Jan 1999 Kitzbühel, Austria Downhill
10 Mar 1999 Sierra Nevada, Spain Downhill
2001 21 Jan 2001 Kitzbühel, Austria Combined
2004 19 Dec 2003 Val Gardena, Italy Super-G
22 Jan 2004 Kitzbühel, Austria Downhill
2005 4 Dec 2004 Beaver Creek, USA Giant slalom
10 Mar 2005    Lenzerheide, Switzerland Downhill

World Championships resultsEdit

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1991 20 10
1993 22 12 16 cancelled 1
1996 25 10 4 6 4 2
1997 26 2 2 2 5
1999 28 2 1 1 2 2
2001 30 7 4 DNS
2003 32 DNS2 9 13 2
2005 34 DNF1 11 33 6

Olympic resultsEdit

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1994 23 7 12 18 1
1998 27 8 9 2 2
2002 31 3 DNF 2 5
2006 35 18 14 14 DNF SL1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Lasse Kjus at the International Ski Federation
  2. ^ "Norway's dynamic duo Aamodt and Kjus named 2015 Legends Of Honor". FIS. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
1999
Succeeded by