Ernst Vettori was born in Tyrol and began ski jumping under his father Wilfried, who was also an active winter sportsman and later head coach of the Austrian Nordic combined team. At the age of 16 Ernst Vettori débuted in his first World Cup event in Innsbruck during the Four Hills Tournament in 1981. Already in February of the same year he won silver at the World Junior Ski Championships and finished second in Chamonix to make his first World Cup podium. In 1982 he became World Junior Champion after winning on a K-70 hill in front of his home crowd in Murau. Vettori participated in the 1984 Winter Olympics and the 1984 Nordic World Ski Championships, but he had to wait until December 1984 to win his first World Cup competition, which came at Oberstdorf as part of the Four Hills Tournament. In the same season he was also a member of the Austrian team (with Andreas Felder, Armin Kogler, and Günther Stranner) which won silver at the 1985 Nordic World Ski Championships. After finishing third in the World Cup in that season, Vettori finished second in the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons, but in both seasons won the Four Hills Tournament, especially important in Austria. In February 1987 Vettori won his only individual medal at the World Championships with bronze on the large hill in Oberstdorf followed by a second bronze medal with the Austrian team (with Andreas Felder and the non-Olympians Richard Schallert and Franz Neuländtner).
After changing his style from the outdated classical or parallel style (Däscher technique) which was used in former years, but was no longer competitive, to the new V-technique, Vettori again finished second in the 1989-90 World Cup and won team gold for Austria (with Heinz Kuttin, Stefan Horngacher, and Andreas Felder) at the 1991 Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. In 1992 he crowned his career with an Olympic gold on the normal hill in Albertville and also helped Austria win silver in the team event. Vettori celebrated his last World Cup win in March 1992 and won 15 World Cup competitions in total. Before retiring in 1994 he again won bronze with the Austrian team (with Heinz Kuttin, Stefan Horngacher, and Andreas Goldberger) at the 1993 Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun.
The first years after his sports career Vettori worked as a television commentator and expert for Eurosport (1995-99) and after finishing his studies joined the Austrian Ski Association, where he first became marketing director for Nordic sports and in 2010 sports director for ski jumping and Nordic combined. In 1991 he was the second Austrian who was awarded a Holmenkollmedaljen. Vettori is married to former Austrian alpine skier Sieglinde Winkler, who achieved three World Cup podiums in downhill and Super-G.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1984 Winter Olympics||Ski Jumping (Skiing)||AUT||Ernst Vettori|
|Normal Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic)||36|
|1988 Winter Olympics||Ski Jumping (Skiing)||AUT||Ernst Vettori|
|Normal Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic)||24|
|Large Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic)||28|
|Large Hill, Team, Men (Olympic)||Austria||5|
|1992 Winter Olympics||Ski Jumping (Skiing)||AUT||Ernst Vettori|
|Normal Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic)||1||Gold|
|Large Hill, Individual, Men (Olympic)||15|
|Large Hill, Team, Men (Olympic)||Austria||2||Silver|