Toni Innauer was a prodigy of Austrian ski jumping whose career was ended by a serious ankle injury when he was 22-years-old. When he was only 16 he won the European Junior Championship in 1975, and he competed at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Olympics as a 17-year-old, winning a silver medal on the large hill. Later in 1976 he twice bettered the world record in ski flying, with jumps of 174 and 176 metres. At a ski flying competition in Oberstdorf in 1976, Innauer received perfect marks of 20.0 from all five judges, the first time this had ever been accomplished, and it has been done only four times since. In 1975-76, Innauer won three of the Four Hills events, but did not win the overall tournament. At Lake Placid in 1980, Innauer added an Olympic gold medal on the normal hill.
Innauer graduated from the University of Graz in 1987 with a degree in philosophy, psychology, and sports science with his thesis done on the sociology of ski jumping. He then began a coaching career, coaching the Austrian national tea from 1989-92 and 2001-02. From 1993-2001 and 2002-13, Innauer was director of Nordic skiing for the Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV). He also does ski jumping commentary for the German TV channel ZDF. Innauer has been given multiple awards for his jumping, with a Gold Medal from the Austrian Republic in 1996 for Meritorious Service, the Austrian Fair Play Award in 1998, and a special Sportsman of the Year Award in 2010.