Open main menu

Pirmin Zurbriggen

Pirmin Zurbriggen (born 4 February 1963) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Switzerland. One of the most successful ski racers ever, he won the overall World Cup title four times, an Olympic gold medal in 1988 in Downhill, and nine World Championships medals (4 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze).

Pirmin Zurbriggen
Alpine skier
Pirmin Zurbriggen.JPG
Zurbriggen in 2014
DisciplinesDownhill, Super-G,
Giant slalom, Slalom,
Combined
Born (1963-02-04) 4 February 1963 (age 56)
Saas Almagell, Valais, Switzerland
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
World Cup debut4 January 1981 (age 17)
Retired17 March 1990 (age 27)
Websitezurbriggen.ch
Olympics
Teams2 (1984, 1988)
Medals2 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams4 (1982, 1985, 1987, 1989)
Medals9 (4 gold)
World Cup
Seasons10 (19811990)
Wins40
Podiums83
Overall titles4 (1984, 1987, 1988, 1990)
Discipline titles12

BiographyEdit

Zurbriggen was born in Saas-Almagell in the canton of Valais, the son of Alois, an innkeeper, and Ida. His father competed as a ski racer in local competitions in the 1940s and 1950s, but quit the sport after his brother was killed in a training accident.[1] Zurbriggen made his World Cup debut in January 1981, a month before his 18th birthday. With his victory in the downhill at Kitzbühel in January 1985 at age 21, he became the first to win World Cup races in all five disciplines. (The fifth discipline, Super G, was added in December 1982.)[2] Incidentally Marc Girardelli, the second to enter this exclusive circle, won his first downhill race four years later at the same venue.

Zurbriggen retired from international competition after having won the 1990 World Cup overall title – his fourth, which was then the most overall titles won by a single racer, reached only once before by Gustav Thöni in 1975. Again it was Marc Girardelli who followed him in 1991 with a fourth overall title, and Girardelli added another in 1993 to become the only male racer with five overall titles in World Cup history.

Zurbriggen grew up in the remote village of Saas-Almagell, near Saas-Fee. With a total of 40 World Cup victories over nine years and five gold medals, he belongs to the "All-Time Greats" of alpine skiing, ranking fifth in all-time wins and having 169 Top Ten finishes.[3]

Zurbriggen left the World Cup tour as a hero to start a family; he was married the previous summer (30 June 1989) to Monika Julen (the sister of his best friend on the Swiss ski team, Max Julen),[4] with whom he has five children: Elia, Pirmin Jr., Maria, Alain and Leonie, who have all competed in ski racing.[5] He is the older brother of Heidi Zurbriggen, a winner of three World Cup downhill races, and a distant cousin of Silvan Zurbriggen.[6]

Zurbriggen now runs the "Wellness Hotel Pirmin Zurbriggen" with his parents in Saas-Almagell and another, "Apparthotel Zurbriggen," in Zermatt.[7] In addition, after his World Cup career had ended he partnered with Authier Ski company on a line of signature skis.[8]

World Cup resultsEdit

Season standingsEdit

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
Slalom
Super G Downhill Combined
1981 18 31 17 not
run
18
1982 19 11 33 6 7
1983 20 6 21 4 not
awarded
(w/ GS)
26 3
1984 21 1 24 1 10 2
1985 22 2 14 2 5 9
1986 23 2 6 10 2 11 1
1987 24 1 21 1 1 1 1
1988 25 1 9 4 1 1 4
1989 26 2 15 1 1 4 3
1990 27 1 11 6 1 3 1

Season titlesEdit

  • 13 titles (4 overall, 2 DH, 4 SG, 3 GS) plus unofficial 3 K
Season Discipline
1984 Overall
Giant Slalom
1987 Overall
Downhill
Super-G
Giant Slalom
1988 Overall
Downhill
Super G
1989 Super-G
Giant Slalom
1990 Overall
Super-G

Race victoriesEdit

  • 40 wins (10 DH, 10 SG, 7 GS, 11 SC, 2 SL)
  • 83 podiums (40 wins, 26 second place, 17 third place)

DownhillEdit

Date Location
11-Jan-1985   Kitzbühel
12-Jan-1985   Kitzbühel
16-Aug-1986   Las Leñas
05-Dec-1986   Val d'Isère
10-Jan-1987   Garmisch
25-Jan-1987   Kitzbühel
07-Mar-1987   Aspen, CO
09-Jan-1988   Val d'Isère
29-Jan-1988   Schladming
06-Dec-1989   Val Gardena

Giant slalomEdit

Date Location
24-Mar-1982   San Sicario
11-Jan-1983     Adelboden
05-Mar-1984   Aspen, CO
13-Jan-1987     Adelboden
20-Jan-1987     Adelboden
15-Feb-1987   Todtnau
29-Nov-1988   Val Thorens

SlalomEdit

Date Location
10-Dec-1984   Sestriere
23-Feb-1986   Åre

Super-GEdit

Date Location
19-Dec-1983   Val Gardena
20-Mar-1984   Oppdal
07-Dec-1984   Puy-Saint-Vincent
17-Mar-1985   Panorama, BC
28-Feb-1986   Hemsedal
08-Mar-1987   Aspen, CO
27-Nov-1988   Schladming
12-Dec-1989   Sestriere
06-Feb-1990   Courmayeur
10-Mar-1990   Hemsedal

CombinedEdit

Date Location
24-Jan-1982     Wengen
22-Dec-1982   Campiglio
29-Jan-1984   Garmisch
11-Jan-1985   Kitzbühel
19-Jan-1986   Kitzbühel
23-Feb-1986   Åre
18-Jan-1987     Wengen
25-Jan-1987   Kitzbühel
22-Dec-1988   St. Anton
12-Jan-1990   Schladming
21-Jan-1990   Kitzbühel

World championship resultsEdit

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 Slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1985 22 DNF 2 not run 1 1
1987 24 DNF 1 1 2 2
1989 26 DNF 3 2 15 4

Olympic results Olympic rings without rims.svgEdit

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 Slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
1984 21 DNF1 DNF1 not run 4 not run
1988 25 7 3 5 1 DNF SL2

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Johnson, William Oscar (January 27, 1988). "The Swiss Golden Boy". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 11, 2016.
  2. ^ victories of Pirmin Zurbriggen on fis-ski.com, sorted by date, retrieved December 30, 2011
  3. ^ Most Valuable Racers – Top 50, retrieved February 22, 2010
  4. ^ Harvey, Randy (February 8, 1988). "PIRMIN ZURBRIGGEN: The Pride of the Swiss Mountain Country Is an Often Humble, Yet Daring Young Man Who Could Win Three Gold Medals in Skiing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Despont, Christian; Monnard, Bertrand (December 28, 2014). "Les enfants Zurbriggen arrivent en force" [The children of Zurbriggen arrive in force]. Le Matin (Switzerland) (in French). Retrieved March 4, 2017.
  6. ^ Lang, Patrick (December 18, 2010). "Silvan Zurbriggen on Pirmin's footsteps". FIS-Ski.com. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
  7. ^ Zurbriggen Homepage, retrieved November 22, 2007
  8. ^ California Ski Company (2003), The Authier Story, retrieved November 19, 2007

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
  Étienne Dagon
Swiss Sportsman of the Year
1985
Succeeded by
  Werner Günthör