Best Moments of Alpine Skiing in the Winter Games (XI). Calgary 1988

For the first time, the Winter Games extended to 16 days, including three weekends. The Alpine events were expanded from three to five with the inclusion of the super giant slalom and the Alpine combined.

Charismatic Italian skier Alberto Tomba made the most of his Olympic debut, winning both the giant slalom and the slalom.

Within the space of 48 hours, between 25 and 27 February, “La Bomba” legend was born, a huge star in Italy and one of the greatest Alpine skiers in history.

Tomba showed a natural talent for skiing and quickly pursued his passion on Bologna's nearby slopes of the Apennines, then in Cortina d'Ampezzo, where his father, who had made his fortune in the textile industry, procured him the services of a special trainer, Roberto Siorpaes, a former national team slalom skier in the 1950s and 60s.

By the time he arrived in Calgary for his first Games, he had already achieved seven wins, four in the slalom and three in the giant slalom.

On 25 February, wearing bib number 1, he tore through the first leg of the giant slalom with a time of 1:03.91, more than a second faster than all his rivals. In the second act, Austria’s Hubert Strolz posted the fastest time, but Tomba was just one-tenth of a second behind, so won with a total lead of 1.04 seconds. Switzerland’s Pirmin Zurbriggen took the bronze medal, with a gap of more than two seconds.

Two days later, it was time for the slalom. He started wearing bib number 11. This time, things were much harder, but Tomba finished claiming gold again.



A legendary rivalry was born in the early stages of the 1980s and, between 1984 and 1991, Marc Girardelli and Pirmin Zurbriggen turned the annual ski competition into a two-horse race.

The Austrian Marc Girardelli, a naturalized Luxembourger, and Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland enjoyed a kind of exclusive dominance never before seen on the World Cup tour. The two men, both born in 1963, shared everything there was to win, including nine overall World Cups (five for the Luxembourger — four for the Swiss) and 14 discipline titles (eight to six in favor of Zurbriggen).

The Austrian Marc Girardelli, a naturalized Luxembourger, and Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland enjoyed a kind of exclusive dominance never before seen on the World Cup tour. The two men, both born in 1963, shared everything there was to win, including nine overall World Cups (five for the Luxembourger — four for the Swiss) and 14 discipline titles (eight to six in favor of Zurbriggen).

The only off-note in this stretch of unprecedented dominance was played on the Olympic stage. Girardelli collected only two silver medals, while Zurbriggen managed one gold in the downhill in Calgary in 1988 and a bronze in the giant slalom that same year.