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Best Moments of Alpine Skiing in the Winter Games. Lake Placid 1980

On 27 October 1974, at the 75th IOC Session in Vienna, Lake Placid was awarded the 13th Olympic Winter Games, 48 years after it had hosted the 3rd Winter Games. The other candidate, Vancouver-Garibaldi (Canada), had withdrawn before the final vote.


The XIII Olympic Winter Games were held from February 13 to 24, 1980, in Lake Placid, New York, United States, and attracted 1,072 participants (840 men and 232 women) representing 37 different countries (NOCs). The program consisted of six sports and 38 separate events.


The races were held at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, New York, northeast of Lake Placid.

This was the first Olympics in which the women's Giant Slalom consisted of two runs, rather than one, and both Giant Slalom events ran only one run per day. Lake Placid 1980 was the last Olympics which also served as World Championships for Alpine Skiing.


Ingemar Stenmark and Hanni Wenzel were the highlights of Alpine Skiing in the 1980 Winter Games in Lake Placid. Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark won gold in both the Men’s Slalom and Giant Slalom, while Liechtenstein Hanni Wenzel emerged victorious in the Women’s Slalom and Giant slalom, winning her country’s first-ever gold medals at the Winter Olympics. She also won a silver medal in the Downhill event.


Hannelore (Hanni) Wenzel led the individual medal table, finishing on the podium in all three women's events, with two gold in Giant Slalom and Slalom, and one silver in the Downhill. She had won Liechtenstein's first-ever Olympic medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, a bronze in the slalom at Axamer Lizum.


Stenmark won the Giant Slalom and the Slalom. He was behind on the first run in both races but came back sensationally on the second. Wenzel did the same in the women’s races, making her nation, Liechtenstein, the smallest country to produce an Olympic champion.


Ingemar Stenmark is widely regarded as the most successful Alpine skier ever.

At the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games, Stenmark won a bronze medal in the Giant Slalom.

Stenmark won 13 World Cup races two years later during the 1978-1979 season, a feat no man has ever equated.

However, the high point of his career was his double gold win at the Lake Placid Games in 1980.

After a poor first run in the Giant Slalom, held over two days, Stenmark lay in third place behind Andreas Wenzel and Yugoslavia’s Bojan Krizaj.

The following day he pulled out all the stops in his second run and took gold by more than a second.

Three days later Stenmark pulled out a lightning-fast and unbeatable second run in the Slalom to claim gold.

‘The Silent Swede’ is one of only four men to win both slalom events at a single Winter Games.



Leonhard Stock and Annemarie Moser-Proell from Austria won the Downhill Gold Medals.


To guarantee that all events took place in the best possible conditions, a snowmaking system was used to produce artificial snow, the first time this had been done at the Olympic Games.

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