Herbert Plank

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameHerbert•Plank
Used nameHerbert•Plank
Born3 September 1954 in Vipiteno, Bolzano-Bozen (ITA)
Measurements171 cm / 72 kg
AffiliationsC. S. Carabinieri, (ITA)
NOC Italy
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 1


Unlike most of his teammates, who preferred the technical disciplines, Herbert Plank excelled in the speed events, and he only competed in slalom or giant slalom to earn combined points. His first success came in 1972 winning the gold medal at the first ever European Junior Championships in downhill. Plank won five World Cup races and achieved numerous podium finishes.

His first World Cup points came in 1972 and his first victory came in 1973 in the downhill at Val d’Isere. The second victory came in 1976 on the famous Lauberhorn downhill, in the same year, also winning an Olympic downhill bronze that year. His sister Jolanda competed in the same Olympics, also in downhill. In the 1977-78 season, Herbert Plank won two consecutive World Cup downhills, but had to settle for 10th at the World Championships.

His final World Cup victory came in 1980 at the Canadian resort of Lake Louise. His best overall World Cup ranking was fifth in 1977-78, while in the downhill he had one second and four third places in the seasonal standings. At Italian Championships he earned seven medals in downhill and two in the combined, taking five titles in the downhill and two in the combined.

After his racing retirement, Plank started renting vacation homes out of the family grange, the Ralserhof, ran a sport shop in his native Vipiteno, and represented ski wear brands. His son Andy is also an alpine skier taking the 2009 World Junior downhill title.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing (Skiing) ITA Herbert Plank
Downhill, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
1980 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing (Skiing) ITA Herbert Plank
Downhill, Men (Olympic) 6

Olympic family relations

Special Notes