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Josef Polig

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJosef•Polig
Used nameJosef•Polig
Nick/petnamesJoe Speck
Born9 November 1968 in Vipiteno, Bolzano-Bozen (ITA)
Measurements168 cm / 70 kg
AffiliationsG.S. Fiamme Gialle, Roma (ITA)
NOC Italy


Josef Polig was a versatile skier who won a surprise gold medal in combined at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville. Sixth after the downhill, he had the fifth best time in slalom, but benefitted when defending champion Hubert Strolz was disqualified, after missing a gate near the finish of the second run. In the World Cup, in which Polig participated from 1988-95, his best placings were two fifth places in the combined and the downhill. In 1989 he was ranked ninth in the combined at the World Championships. At the Italian Championships he won two combined titles (1988, 1993) and one silver medal, in 1989 giant slalom.

Highly regarded by colleagues for his cheerful character, his nickname in the white circus was “Joe-Speck.” According to the legend, he had established a prospering business trading South Tyrolean speck (a cured bacon product) while competing in the World Cup. After his active racing career, he trained as a ski instructor, but mostly became a distributor of typical local food products in Vipiteno. Polig was named the 1992 South Tyrolean Athlete-of-the-Year.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1992 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing (Skiing) ITA Josef Polig
Super G, Men (Olympic) 5
Giant Slalom, Men (Olympic) =9
Combined, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold