Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Flashback: Olympic Glory

Photo: Liechtensteiner Vaterland
Princess Gina and her grandson Prince Max welcome home their country's medal winners from the 1976 Winter Olympics which took place in Innsbruck, Austria. Hanni Wenzel, who later went on two become a double Olympic champion, won a bronze medal in the giant slalom and Willi Frommelt took another bronze medal in the slalom.

With its nine medals in Olympic history, Liechtenstein has, in fact, won more medals per capita than any other nation. Not surprisingly for the only nation to lie entirely within the Alps, all of the medals were won in alpine skiing. The above mentioned two bronze medals were actually Liechtenstein's first Olympic medals but started some kind of streak that lasted throughout the following three Olympics: At the 1980 Lake Placid Games, Hanni Wenzel won two gold and one silver medal with her brother Andreas winning another silver medal for the Principality. Liechtenstein's athletes took home another three bronze medals at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics through Andreas Wenzel, Ursula Konzett and Paul Frommelt.

While a medal drought started after that, Liechtenstein has a real shot at winning another medal or two in Sochi as alpine skier Tina Weirather as had a very successful season thus far winning two races just before Christmas and finishing another seven times on the podium this season. Princess Nora, who is an IOC member, will be in Sochi for the Games while other attendance of the Princely Family hasn't been confirmed yet. And by the way, the Princely Family actually counted an Olympian amongst their own for a long time: the late Prince Constantin (1911-2011) competed in the 1948 Winter Olympics in, you guessed it, alpine skiing.

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