Erika Lechner

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameErika•Lechner (-Tauber-)
Used nameErika•Lechner
Born28 May 1947 in Rio di Pusteria, Bolzano-Bozen (ITA)
Measurements168 cm / 60 kg
AffiliationsS.C. Monteguzzo, Monteguzzo (ITA)
NOC Italy
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1


Erika Lechner was the first Italian woman to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympics. She began competing in 1964, at the age of 16, when she captured the first of her seven national titles. Four years later she became a member of the Italian Olympic team in Grenoble in 1968. After three of four runs, Lechner was third, behind the East Germans Ortrun Enderlein and Anna-Maria Müller and immediately before another East German, Angela Knösel.

However, a jury check after the third run revealed that the blades of the toboggans used by the team of East Germany had been heated, an illegal practice which helped reduce friction on the ice, so the three athletes were disqualified and Lechner found herself in first place before the final run, which was initially postponed due to bad weather, but was later canceled, bringing her the gold medal. Another successful year was 1971, when she won the European Championship in Imst and the silver medal at the Worlds in Olang, only narrowly missing first place, beaten by the West German Elisabeth Demleitner.

The following year she ended her career after taking part in the 1972 Winter Olympic Games in Sapporo but failed to finish. In 1968 she was appointed Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. Her brother was teammate and Olympian Emilio Lechner. After her active career she managed the Hotel Erika in her native Maranza.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Erika Lechner
Singles, Women (Olympic) 1 Gold
1972 Winter Olympics Luge ITA Erika Lechner
Singles, Women (Olympic) DNF

Olympic family relations

Special Notes


Previously confused with Erika Außersdorfer.