Gregor Schlierenzauer, the man to beat in Vancouver
Despite his young age, this Austrian ski-jumper has already established himself as the man to beat in Vancouver 2010.
Gregor Schlierenzauer was born on January 7, 1990, in Innsbruck, to a family with an auspicious Olympic history. His uncle is Markus Prock, who won three Winter Olympic medals in men's luge. Schlierenzauer was born deaf in the one ear, but that never hindered his ski-jumping prowess – he started training for the event at the age of eight.Boy to man
In February 2006, Schlierenzauer won the Junior World Championship in Kranj, Slovenia. This caught the attention of the Austrian professional team’s coach, who chose Schlierenzauer to compete in the World Cup. He came 24th on his World Cup debut, at the Holmenkollen ski festival in March 2005.Early successes
In December 2006, Schlierenzauer won his first World Cup event in Lillehammer, Norway, becaming one of the youngest jumpers ever to win there. He also won in Oberstdorf, Germany and at the Four Hills Tournament, eventually taking fourth place in the World Cup 2006-2007 overall standings.World dominance
Since the 2006/07 World Cup, Schlierenzauer has established himself as the world’s number one ski-jumper, equaling records for consecutive victories and for victories in one season, setting a new record for podium finishes in one season, and winning four World Championship gold medals.