An early starter
Ingemar Stenmark is widely regarded as the most successful Alpine skier of all time. He began skiing at the age of five. Three years later, he won his first national championship.
At the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games, Stenmark won a bronze medal in the giant slalom. This was despite lying in only eighth place after the first run. Two years later, Stenmark won 13 World Cup races during the 1978-1979 season, a feat no man has ever equalled.
The following year he became a double Olympic champion at the Lake Placid Winter Games. He won the giant slalom by three-quarters of a second and came from behind in the slalom with a great second run.
He was denied a chance to defend his Olympic titles in 1984 as he failed to meet the strict amateur eligibility requirements of the times. He returned for the 1988 Calgary Winter Games but failed to win a medal. However, with a career haul of 86 World Cup race wins, more than double that of every other male skier bar one, his legacy as the greatest was assured.