, 1972-, Austrian skier. Sent home from a ski academy in his teens by a physical condition, he was a bricklayer before winning a place on the Austrian World Cup team (and his first World Cup race) in 1996. Nicknamed the "Herminator" for his strong, fearless skiing, he won two Olympic gold medals in 1998. After recovering from a motorcycle accident in 2001 that almost severed his leg, he returned to skiing in 2003 and soon won his 42d race. Four-time overall World Cup champion (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004) and downhill, super-G, and giant slalom champion multiple times, he has 54 World Cup victories, second only to Ingemar Stenmark
. He also won a silver and a bronze medal in 2006 and three world titles. He retired in 2009.
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