Austria’s Anton “Toni” Sailer, known as “The Blitz from Kitz”, because of his hometown, was the greatest Alpine skier in Olympic history. Although his feat of winning all three Alpine events at the 1956 Winter Games was matched by Jean-Claude Killy 12 years later, Sailer’s overall performance was far more impressive. He won the downhill by 3.5 seconds, the slalom by 4.0 seconds and the giant slalom by a remarkable 6.2 seconds, whereas Killy’s margins of victory were much narrower.
Sailer was also World Champion at Alpine combination (1956, 1958) and the downhill and slalom (1958). His career at the international level lasted only four seasons before he retired to become a hotelier and an occasional film actor and singer. A national hero, he was appointed technical director of the national Alpine team in 1972. Through 2010, he remains the only Austrian to have won three Olympic gold medals, when Felix Gottwald and Thomas Morgenstern also won their third Olympic title.