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Racing Great Toni Sailer Dies

Racing Great Toni Sailer Dies

Skiing's first leading man leaves a lifelong legacy.
posted: 08/26/2009

The dashing Toni Sailer among young fans at the 1956 Winter Olympics. Four years later, the hard-shell helmet replaced padded headgear in downhill racing.

Toni Sailer, a dashing Austrian skier racer who was the first racer to capture three gold medals in the same Olympic Games died earlier this week in in Innsbruck, Austria. He was 73. Sailor, at the age of 20, won all three alpine competitions (slalom, giant slalom and downhill) at the 1956 Winter Games in Cortina, Italy—a feat only matched by Jean-Claude Kelly a dozen years later at the Grenoble, France, Winter Olympics. With his natural charm and matinee idol good-looks, Sailer enjoyed a far-ranging career after he stopped racing, including recording artist, television and movie actor and businessman. A national hero in Austria, Sailer was a living legend throughout his life.

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