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"Rosi had a heart as big as a bus".

Rosi Mittermaier: Ski family mourns the sports icon

The sports world bids farewell to Rosi Mittermaier. On January 4, 2023, she succumbed to cancer at the age of 72. "Gold-Rosi" was an outstanding athlete whose work influenced and shaped the sports world even after her active career - even off the ski slopes.

Messechef Manfred Wutzlhofer übergibt der ehemaligen Skirennläuferin Rosi Mittermaier den ISPO CUP.
In 2005 Rosi Mittermaier already won the ISPO Cup for her unique services to the sports world.

Rosi Mittermaier had won two Olympic medals and three world championship titles. After she ended her active career, she committed herself with equal energy to social projects. The former professional skier supported the promotion of alpine skiing as well as the promotion of young talent in Germany and throughout the world. In doing so, she shaped and changed the sport and society in a lasting way.

For this commitment and, of course, for her unique sports career, Rosi Mittermaier received another award 29 years after her career ended in 2005: the ISPO Cup (now ISPO Cup). This shows that Rosi's life was much more than just her sporting successes, to which she never wanted to be reduced.

"With Rosi Mittermaier, the sports world is not only losing an exceptional athlete, but above all a warm, likeable and, for all her fame, down-to-earth personality beyond measure," says Tobias Gröber, Head of ISPO Group. "It was a great honor and pleasure for us to award Rosi with the ISPO Cup for her unique athletic career and her multifaceted social commitment."

Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther visiting "Dein Winter. Dein Sport."
Rosi Mittermaier and Christian Neureuther visiting "Your Winter. Your sport"

A life of success and humility

Rosi Mittermaier was born on November 22, 1951. She started skiing early in her youth, training with the national team for the first time at the age of 14. Mittermaier was very talented and started competing internationally in the 1966/67 season. In the same year she won the German championship for the first time.

At the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Rosi made herself immortal: Olympic champion in the slalom and downhill. Probably the greatest success of her sporting career.

She was one of the most successful ski racers of her time. But Rosi Mittermaier was much more than that.

"She was an inspiration for millions of people in Germany and far beyond," said Lena Haushofer, Exhibition Director ISPO Munich & OutDoor by ISPO.

    Rosi Mittermaier has received countless awards for her social commitment:

    • Bavarian Order of Merit (2007)
    • Federal Cross of Merit on ribbon (2005)
    • ISPO Cup (2005)
    • Golden Sports Pyramid (2001)
    • Georg von Opel Award (2000)
    • Olympic Order of the IOC (1999)
    • National Ambassador for Sport, Tolerance and Fair Play (1997)

    "You can't find a person like that again"

    But despite all the awards and successes, Rosi has always remained modest and down-to-earth. In an interview with ISPO.com in 2017, she said, "Just go out, into nature - even if it's cold! That's actually the beauty!"

    Her good friend Markus Wasmeier, double Olympic champion in 1994, describes his grief with the words: "We have lost a fantastic person. Rosi had a heart as big as a bus, she was always there for everyone - that was unique. You don't find a person like that again, she leaves a huge gap."



    One who was inspired by Rosi Mittermeier is Maria Höfl-Riesch. The former German ski racer says goodbye on Instagram with these words:

    "She was not only a great role model as an athlete, but also impressed as a person with her modesty and endearing nature. In addition, Rosi has contributed significantly to the fact that women's sports are perceived quite differently. Dear Rosi, thank you for everything!"

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