Monday, 31 August 2009


My obituary of Toni Sailer, the greatest of the pre-television era skiers, Austrian movie star and crooner, coach, teacher, and race chief for the Hahenkamn downhill at Kitzbuehel, is in today's Independent, you can find it here. I encountered Sailer briefly while working for ABC Sports; Kitzbuehel was always a difficult show for me, with persistent small problems with the organisers, and after a day full of small niggling arguments, it would be fun to watch Sailer charm the hell out of anyone he encountered. The nature of Austrian celebrity might have seemed somewhat simple to me; but Sailer's mere presence would double visibly the gemutlichheit in any gathering.

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