Walter Plaikner (born 24 October 1951 in Kiens, South Tyrol) is an Italian former luger and coach of Austrian descent who competed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was a doubles specialist, and competed alongside Paul Hildgartner. They won the gold medal in the men's doubles event (shared with the East German pairing of Horst Hörnlein and Reinhard Bredow) at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. Plaikner also competed at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, where he finished 11th in the doubles after suffering from a severe bout of flu. He retired from competition after the Games.
|1972 Sapporo||Men's doubles|
|1971 Olang||Men's doubles|
|1973 Oberhof||Men's doubles|
|1971 Imst||Men's doubles|
|1974 Imst||Men's doubles|
Plaikner won two medals in the men's doubles events at the FIL World Luge Championships with a gold in 1971 and a bronze in 1973. He and Hildgartner also won two gold medals in the men's doubles event at the FIL European Luge Championships (1971, 1974).
After his retirement, Plaikner became a coach, working in Japan until 1998 and then in the United States to 2002. That year he was appointed as head coach of the Italian national luge team: he remained in this position until the end of April 2013, when he left the role after disputes about the quality of materials he produced for the construction of sleds. Later that year he became head coach of the Russian luge team with a focus on preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In 2016 he rejoined the coaching staff of the Italian team. In 2007, Plaikner was appointed Chairman of the Technical Commission for Artificial Track of the International Luge Federation (FIL).
- ^ a b c d e "Walter Plaikner". Sports Reference. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- ^ "List of European luge champions". Eiskanal (in German). Archived from the original on 2008-03-25. Retrieved 2015-02-08.
- ^ "Plaikner, lascia l'Italia il tecnico di Zöggeler" [Plaikner the Zöggeler coach leaves Italy]. altoadige.it (in Italian). 11 April 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- ^ Militello, Federico (28 November 2016). "C'era una volta l'Italia dello slittino…" [Once upon a time there was Italy's luge...]. Eurosport (in Italian). Retrieved 9 February 2019.
- DatabaseOlympics.com information on Plaikner at the Wayback Machine (archived 2007-08-25)
- FIL Executive committee featuring Plaikner
- FIL-Luge.org December 14, 2006 article on Plaikner's visit to the Whistler Sliding Centre in Whistler, BC. - accessed March 8, 2008.
- Fuzilogik Sports - Winter Olympic results - Men's luge at the Wayback Machine (archived 2010-02-21)
- Hickoksports.com results on Olympic champions in luge and skeleton. at the Wayback Machine (archived 2007-06-30)
- Hickok sports information on World champions in luge and skeleton. at archive.today (archived 2012-12-04)