Although occasionally competing in giant slaloms or combined events, Thomas Stangassinger was a pure slalom expert. One of the dominant slalom skiers of the 1990s, he won the Slalom World Cup once (1999), placing twice on three occasions, and third once. Between 1989 and 1999, he won 12 World Cup races, all in slaloms. In five World Championships, he always made the top 10, winning a silver medal in Saalbach-Hinterglemm (1991) and a bronze one in Morioka (1993). His greatest success came at the Lillehammer Olympics in 1994. After leading in the fourth run, Stangassinger held off legendary Alberto Tomba to win the gold medal. This victory, Austria’s only skiing gold those Olympics, earned Stangassinger the title of male athlete of the year in his home country. A sports field in his home town of Hallein also bears his name.