Alpine
SKI ALPIN - FIS WC Soelden, RTL, Herren

Schoenfelder bids farewell to the World Cup between runs at Soelden (credit: GEPA/Daniel Goetzhaber)

Ski racing lost one of its purest characters with the sudden retirement of Rainer Schoenfelder. The popular Austrian competitor was dropped from the national team in the 2010-2011 season and had self-financed his career in subsequent winters. A rock star and most recently a contestant on the Austrian version of Dancing With The Stars, Schoenfelder abruptly retired at Soelden and called it quits on a lengthy career at age 36.

Schoenfelder won a pair of bronze medals at the 2006 Olympic Games and two silver medals (one a team medal) at the 2005 World Championships. He was the World Cup slalom champion in 2004 and won five World Cup races, all slaloms.

A technical specialist, Schoenfelder was preparing to expand into the speed disciplines when a series of injuries curtailed his career. He made worldwide headlines on Jan. 10, 2007 when he skied naked alongside the Lauberhorn downhill course after losing a bet with his physiotherapist.

Article Tags: Alpine , Top Story
Hank McKee
Senior Editor
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The veteran of the staff, McKee started with Ski Racing in 1980. Over the seasons he has covered virtually every aspect of the sport, from the pro tours to junior racing, freestyle and World Cup alpine competition. He has written the first national stories for many U.S. team stars, and was still around to report on their retirements. “Longevity has its rewards,” he says, “but it’s a slow process.”
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Issue 2 available now!
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Autumn meeting decisions of the FIS Council
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