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 7 January 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 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.
In December 2006, Schlierenzauer won his first World Cup event in Lillehammer, Norway, becoming 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.
Since the 2006/07 World Cup, Schlierenzauer has established himself as the world’s number one ski-jumper, equalling 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.