Swedish skiing sensation
A two-time Olympic gold medallist, Pernilla Wiberg belongs to an elite club of versatile female skiers who have recorded victories in all five alpine ski disciplines.
A decade at the top
From her initial slalom success in 1991 to her final downhill triumph in 2000, Pernilla Wiberg played a starring role on the Alpine Ski World Cup circuit, winning the overall title in 1997. She also collected four individual Crystal Globes, for slalom in 1997 and for combined in 1994, 1995 and 1997, and managed a remarkable 61 top-three finishes, including 24 victories (two in downhill, three in super-G, two in giant slalom, 14 in slalom and three in combined). These results saw her join Germany’s Petra Kronberger as one of only two female skiers to have won in every discipline, a feat that was later equalled by Janica Kostelić, Anja Pärson, Lindsey Vonn and Tina Maze.
Queen of the big occasion
A native of Norrköping (SWE), Wiberg claimed her first world title in Saalbach (AUT) in 1991, putting in a strong showing in the second leg of the giant slalom event to surge from seventh to first place. At the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, she confirmed her domination of that discipline by winning Sweden’s only gold medal. At Lillehammer 1994, she earned her country’s first gold of the Games, this time in the combined event. Two years later, at the World Championships in Sierra Nevada (ESP), the Swede enjoyed what she referred to as her “greatest experience as a skier”, lining up in all five events and coming out on top in the slalom and combined. Despite having just returned to the slopes after a knee injury, she still managed to pick up a silver medal in downhill at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano. At the Worlds in Vail (USA) the following season, she won the combined and finished second in the slalom, taking her overall medal haul – Olympic Games and World Championships combined – to nine.
In the service of skiing
Wiberg spent four years as chair of the FIS Athletes' Commission, a role she fulfilled until her retirement from professional skiing in 2002. She was promptly elected to the IOC Athletes’ Commission by her peers in Salt Lake City. During eight years of service, she sat on eight different IOC commissions including the Sport and Environment Commission, the Ethics Commission, and the Evaluation and Coordination commissions for the 2010 Winter Games; she also chaired the Coordination Commission for the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck (AUT). She continues to serve on the FIS Working Group for Alpine Technical Equipment, which looks at how to improve safety within the sport.