Nadig, Marie-Thérèse (1954—)

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Nadig, Marie-Thérèse (1954—)

Swiss Alpine skier. Name variations: Marie-Therese Nadig. Born in Tannebolden, Switzerland, on March 8, 1954.

Won Olympic gold medals in the downhill and giant slalom in Sapporo, Japan (1972); won Olympic bronze medal in the downhill in Lake Placid, New York (1980); won the World Cup overall (1981), the downhill (1980, 1981), the giant slalom (1981), and the combined (1981).

Swiss skier Marie-Thérèse Nadig and Austria's Annemarie Proell-Moser will be competitively linked in the history of skiing. At the start of the 1972 Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan, 18-year-old Proell-Moser was a clear favorite in two Alpine events and under intense pressure. She was the World Cup champion in 1971 and 1972 and had six World Cup titles in her career. Nadig, age 17, had never won a World Cup race. In a major upset, Nadig won the gold medal in the downhill with a time of 1:36.68, one-third of a second faster than Proell-Moser's time. A disappointed Proell-Moser had to make do with silver. Intent on avenging her loss, the Austrian skier tore down the giant slalom course with a sensational time of 1:30.75; Nadig came in at 1:29.90, proving that her previous win was not a fluke. Proell-Moser, who again had to settle for a silver medal, was so upset by her inability to take first place at the Olympics that she publicly retired in 1975.

Thus, Proell-Moser did not compete in the 1976 Olympics that took place in her own backyard in Innsbruck, Austria. Nadig barely competed as well. Stricken by the flu, she was too sick to ski in the downhill and placed 5th in the giant slalom five days later, disappointing her many fans. It was to be Rosi Mittermaier 's year. "After Sapporo," Nadig said later, "people expected everything from me. They expected me to win all the time, and after a while I didn't know where I was."

Proell-Moser came out of retirement after the 1976 Olympics and won several championships on the circuit. In the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, the spotlight was on the same two competitors: Nadig and Proell-Moser. This time, Proell-Moser took the gold in the downhill while Nadig had to settle for the bronze. (Hanni Wenzel walked off with an upset and the silver, along with two gold medals in other Alpine events.) For almost a decade, these two women from two small European nations dominated skiing.


Markel, Robert, Nancy Brooks, and Susan Markel. For the Record: Women in Sports. NY: World Almanac, 1985.

Wallechinsky, David. The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics 1998. NY: Overlook Press, 1998.

Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia