Buddy Werner

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWallace Jerold "Buddy"•Werner
Used nameBuddy•Werner
Born26 February 1936 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (USA)
Died12 April 1964 in Celerina/Schlarigna, Graubünden (SUI)
Measurements170 cm / 78 kg
AffiliationsSSWSC, Steamboat Springs (USA)
NOC United States


After his death Sports Illustrated called Buddy Werner “The Man With No Luck.” Werner was America’s first great alpine ski racer on the international stage, and competed in two Olympics – 1956 and 1964. In 1959 he became the first American to win the Hahnenkamm downhill race in Kitzbühel, Austria, and in 1958 he had been fourth in the slalom and fifth in the giant slalom at the World Championships. In 1960 at Squaw Valley, he looked set to become the first American man to win a medal in alpine skiing but a few weeks before those Winter Olympics, he broke his leg.

Werner continued to compete and came back in 1964 at Innsbruck, but was past his prime and retired from competition shortly after the Olympics ended. A few weeks later, near St. Moritz, Werner was filming a ski movie for former Olympian Willy Bogner. Skiing with German skier Barbi Henneberger, the two were caught in an avalanche and died from suffocation. In his honor, Storm Mountain, near his hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was renamed Mount Werner.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing (Skiing) USA Buddy Werner
Downhill, Men (Olympic) 11
Giant Slalom, Men (Olympic) 21
Slalom, Men (Olympic) DQ
1964 Winter Olympics Alpine Skiing (Skiing) USA Buddy Werner
Downhill, Men (Olympic) 17
Giant Slalom, Men (Olympic) DQ
Slalom, Men (Olympic) 8

Olympic family relations

Special Notes