Gustav Weder and his brakeman, Donat Acklin, made their Olympic debut in 1988, placing fourth in the two-man bobsleigh. By 1992 they were the favourites to win gold or silver.
Catching up for gold
However, after the first two of four runs, they were in only fifth place. The next day, Weder and Acklin roared into first place for their first Olympic championship. Later they joined with Lorenz Schindelholz and Curdin Morell to add bronze medals in the four-man event.
A meticulous competitor
Two years later at the Albertville Games, Weder and Acklin found themselves trailing Reto Götschi and Guido Acklin (Donat’s younger brother) after three runs. On the final run, they edged ahead of their teammates to win by five hundredths of a second and thus become the first repeat winners of the two-man bobsleigh event. In the four-man contest, where they were joined this time by Kurt Meier and Domenico Semeraro, Weder faltered slightly at the end of the first run and ended up in fourth place.
However, he was able to win each of the remaining three runs and earn silver medals for his team. Weder was such an intense competitor that he videotaped every metre of every run he raced on and studied the videos for hours.