Wenzel, Hanni (1951—)

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Wenzel, Hanni (1951—)

Champion skier from Liechtenstein . Born on December 14, 1956, in Germany; grew up in Liechtenstein.

Won 32 World Cup titles, including giant slalom (1974, 1980), overall (1978, 1980), slalom (1978), combined (tied with Annemarie Proell-Moser in 1979, 1980, 1983); won four Olympic medals: bronze in slalom (1976), silver in downhill, gold in slalom, gold in giant slalom (1980).

Although she was born in 1951 in Germany, Hanni Wenzel and her brother Andreas grew up in Liechtenstein, one of Europe's smallest countries. Wenzel won the World slalom championship at St. Moritz in 1974. Two years later, she won a bronze medal in slalom at the Innsbruck Olympics. In 1978, she won the World championship. At the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics, Wenzel and her brother won four medals for their tiny nation: Andreas won a silver in the men's giant slalom, while Hanni won gold medals in the giant slalom and slalom, and a silver in the downhill behind Annemarie Proell-Moser . Wenzel went on to make 1980 her best year, winning the slalom, giant slalom, and combined in the World championships. Injury kept her off the slopes in 1982, but she was second to Tamara McKinney in the 1983 World championships. She was not allowed to compete in the 1984 Olympics because she had signed a commercial contract, and guidelines about amateur status were much stricter then than they are currently. Erika Hess of Switzerland nudged Wenzel out of a 1984 World Cup overall title. At the end of that year, she retired with 32 World Cup titles.


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

Woolum, Janet. Outstanding Women Athletes. Phoenix, AZ: The Oryx Press, 1992.

Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Wenzel, Hanni (1951—)

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