Hermann Maier

Hermann Maier was born in 1972. He was apprenticed as a bricklayer and worked as a skiing instructor before starting his incredible career as a ski racer: two-time Olympic champion in 1998, two-time world champion, three-time overall World Cup winner. Standing as a giant in the ski world, Hermann Maier dominated his field of competition.

His championship reign came to a frightening halt in 2001 when he suffered a violent motorcycle accident that he was lucky to survive. Doctors were certain the damage to his leg would end his flamboyant skiing career. Yet it was at this low point that Hermann Maier’s astonishing comeback story begins.

True to his all-or-nothing reputation, the “Herminator” put every ounce of his strength into his slow, painful recovery. Driven by the same determination that awed millions in Nagano at the 1998 Olympic Games—where he walked away from the most spectacular crash the sport has seen and went on to win two gold medals just days later—Maier willed his way back to the podium in a stunning return to glory.

Only 521 days after the accident he was able to celebrate his sensational comeback victory in the super-G at Kitzbühel. In March 2004, he captured his fourth overall World Cup victory, and in 2005, his third World Championships gold medal.