Marc Girardelli (born 18 July 1963) is a former alpine ski racer, a five-time World Cup overall champion who excelled in all five alpine disciplines.
Girardelli was born in Lustenau, Austria, started skiing at the age of five, and started racing at seven. He enjoyed significant success at junior level, winning local competitions in not only alpine skiing but also ski jumping. After initially racing for Austria until 1976, he switched to racing for Luxembourg due to disagreements about coaching – the Austrian skiing federation wanted Girardelli to attend a ski boarding school in Schruns, which is 30 miles from Lustenau, whilst his parents preferred for him to stay in his hometown. In 1981, he started to make significant progress with his first podium (top-three finish) in Wengen, Switzerland, and from that moment was in contention for slalom and giant slalom podiums on a regular basis.
In 1983 he achieved his first victory in Sweden, but shortly thereafter he received his first major injury, when he tore all the ligaments, cartilage and a tendon in his left knee in a crash during a World Cup downhill at Lake Louise. In spite of this major injury, he went on to win five slalom races in 1984 and placed third in the overall World Cup standings.
In 1985, Girardelli won 11 races and the World Cup overall title. This was followed by another World Cup in 1986 and a third in 1989. After another major accident in 1990, in which he narrowly avoided paraplegia, he recovered to win the overall World Cup title again in 1991 and then in 1993 for a record fifth time – an achievement he shares with Marcel Hirscher (Annemarie Moser-Pröll won six women's World Cups). In total, Girardelli won 46 World Cup races (fourth-most of all time among men) and recorded 100 podiums.
Because Girardelli retained Austrian citizenship while skiing for Luxembourg, he was ineligible to compete in the 1980 or 1984 Winter Olympics - but also to compete in the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships 1982. (In contrast, regulations did allow to start for Luxembourg in the World Cup). For a while it seemed likely he also wouldn't be able to compete in the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships 1985. But he was able to show evidence that he was in the process of claiming Luxembourg citizenship. The FIS gave special permission, and he would go on to win a silver medal in the slalom and bronze medal in the giant slalom race. He received Luxembourg citizenship in time to compete in the FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships 1987, and at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary but failed to win a medal. At the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, however, he won silver medals in Super G and in giant slalom.
Girardelli won 11 World Championship medals, including 4 golds: (slalom at Saalbach in 1991 and combined at Crans-Montana in 1987, Vail Ski Resort in 1989, and Sierra Nevada in 1996).
His final World Cup race was in the downhill race on December 20, 1996 at Val Gardena; he had announced his intention to start another downhill race on December 21 (also at Val Gardena) but didn't start (after suffering a new knee injury). After failing to start in the following races (January 1997), he announced his retirement from international competition (at age 33).
Girardelli is an honorary citizen of Bulgarian ski resort Bansko. Since 2015, he has been serving as an advisor to the Minister of Tourism of Bulgaria, Nikolina Angelkova, on the matters of winter tourism.
He is an organiser of skiing events in several European winter sports resorts, and also in Portillo, Chile. Since 2005, he is an IBO for kids fashion in sports, called »Marc Girardelli Skiwear«. Since 2005 too, he is married to Andrea Palenov - the couple and its two children are living in Switzerland (cit. German Wikipedia).
World Cup results
^no season title awarded in combined in 1991, only one race completed
Individual race victories
46 total (3 downhill, 9 super G, 7 giant slalom, 16 slalom, 11 combined)
|1983||27 February 1983||Gällivare, Sweden||Slalom|
|1984||16 January 1984||Parpan, Switzerland||Slalom|
|22 January 1984||Kitzbühel, Austria||Slalom|
|15 February 1984||Borovets, Bulgaria||Slalom|
|18 March 1984||Åre, Sweden||Slalom|
|24 March 1984||Oslo, Norway||Slalom|
|1985||2 December 1984||Sestriere, Italy||Slalom|
|11 December 1984||Giant Slalom|
|17 December 1984||Madonna di Campiglio, Italy||Super-G|
|4 January 1985||Bad Wiessee, West Germany||Slalom|
|13 January 1985||Kitzbühel, Austria||Slalom|
|21 January 1985||Wengen, Switzerland||Slalom|
|27 January 1985||Garmisch, West Germany||Super-G|
|16 February 1985||Kranjska Gora, Yugoslavia1||Slalom|
|10 March 1985||Aspen, USA||Giant Slalom|
|20 March 1985||Park City, USA||Slalom|
|23 March 1985||Heavenly Valley, USA||Slalom|
|1986||15 December 1985||Alta Badia, Italy||Combined|
|5 February 1986||Crans-Montana, Switzerland||Super-G|
|7 February 1986||St. Anton, Austria||Combined|
|1987||1 March 1987||Furano, Japan||Super-G|
|15 March 1987||Calgary, Canada||Super-G|
|22 March 1987||Sarajevo, Yugoslavia2||Giant Slalom|
|1989||6 December 1988||Sestriere, Italy||Slalom|
|17 December 1988||Kranjska Gora, Yugoslavia1||Slalom|
|13 January 1989||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|15 January 1989||Combined|
|17 January 1989||Adelboden, Switzerland||Giant Slalom|
|20 January 1989||Wengen, Switzerland||Downhill|
|21 January 1989||Downhill|
|22 January 1989||Combined|
|26 February 1989||Whistler, Canada||Super-G|
|1991||13 January 1991||Kitzbühel, Austria||Slalom|
|15 January 1991||Adelboden, Switzerland||Giant Slalom|
|1992||8 December 1991||Val-d'Isère, France||Super-G|
|1993||13 December 1992||Alta Badia, Italy||Giant Slalom|
|20 December 1992||Kranjska Gora, Slovenia||Giant Slalom|
|10 January 1993||Garmisch, Germany||Combined|
|12 January 1993||St. Anton, Austria||Super-G|
|17 January 1993||Combined|
|24 January 1993||Veysonnaz, Switzerland||Combined|
|1994||23 January 1994||Wengen, Switzerland||Super-G|
|1995||15 January 1995||Kitzbühel, Austria||Combined|
|22 January 1995||Wengen, Switzerland||Combined|
|1996||21 January 1996||Veysonnaz, Switzerland||Combined|
1 now Slovenia
2 now Bosnia and Herzegovina