Ingemar Stenmark

Jan Ingemar Stenmark (Swedish pronunciation: ; born 18 March 1956 in Joesjö, Sweden) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Sweden. He is regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish athletes ever, and as the greatest slalom and giant slalom specialist of all time. He competed for Fjällvinden Tärnaby. Born in Joesjö, Storuman Municipality, Lapland, Stenmark's family moved to Tärnaby near Norway when he was four years old. He became a childhood neighbor of Stig Strand (also born 1956), who tied Stenmark for the World Cup slalom title in 1983. Stenmark began skiing at the age of five and won his first national competition at age eight.



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Ingemar Stenmark
Alpine skier
Stenmark in 2014
ClubFjällvinden Tärnaby
Born (1956-03-18) 18 March 1956 (age 62)
Joesjö, Storuman,
Lapland, Sweden
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Medals3 (2 gold)
World Championships
Medals4 (3 gold)
World Cup
Seasons16 (197489)
Wins86 (46 GS, 40 SL)
Overall titles3
Discipline titles16

Jan Ingemar Stenmark (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈɪŋː(ɛ)mar ²steːnmark]; born 18 March 1956 in Joesjö, Sweden) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Sweden. He is regarded as one of the most prominent Swedish athletes ever,[1] and as the greatest slalom and giant slalom specialist of all time. He competed for Fjällvinden Tärnaby.


Born in Joesjö, Storuman Municipality, Lapland, Stenmark's family moved to Tärnaby near Norway when he was four years old. He became a childhood neighbor of Stig Strand (also born 1956), who tied Stenmark for the World Cup slalom title in 1983. Stenmark began skiing at the age of five and won his first national competition at age eight.

Competitive record

Stenmark made his World Cup debut in December 1973 at age 17. He won more international races than any other alpine skier in history: he took 86 wins (46 giant slaloms and 40 slaloms). His closest male competitor is Marcel Hirscher, with 67 (up to January 2019) victories to his name. Stenmark won only in the two technical disciplines: slalom and giant slalom (the other events are downhill, super-G, first run in December 1982, and combined). He rarely competed in the other disciplines, as he was not comfortable with speeds in excess of 120 km/h (75 mph). Stenmark still has the record for the biggest win-margin in a World Cup alpine race: 4,06 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Bojan Križaj in Jasna, 4 February 1979. Stenmark was known as a quiet champion, with short, but polite, responses to media questions.[1][2][3]

For his three straight World Cup titles (1976–78), Stenmark earned the Holmenkollen medal in 1979 (shared with Erik Håker and Raisa Smetanina). Stenmark also earned the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal twice (1975, 1978). His 1978 medal was shared with tennis player Björn Borg, making them the only two men to ever win the honor twice (female alpine skier Anja Pärson received the medal in 2006 and 2007).

At the World Championships in 1978 in Garmisch West Germany, Stenmark won the slalom by two-thirds of a second and the giant slalom by over two seconds,[2] and successfully defended both world titles at the Winter Olympics in 1980 at Lake Placid, which were also world championships. At the next worlds in 1982 in Austria, he had a sub-standard first run in the giant slalom and was upset by American Steve Mahre and settled for silver.[4][5][6] Stenmark rebounded in the slalom and became the first to win the same title in three consecutive world championships.[7] At age 25, it was his final medal in a major competition.

Stenmark was not allowed to participate in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for accepting promotional payments directly, rather than through the national ski federation.[8] Hanni Wenzel of Liechtenstein was also banned; both were double gold medalists in 1980.[9][10] Marc Girardelli, who was the best slalom racer during the 1983-84 season, wasn't allowed to participate either. In his case it was because he didn't have citizenship in Luxembourg, the country for which he competed.[11] Stenmark was allowed back into the Olympic competition in 1988,[3][12] but was past his prime and did not medal (however, he had the fastest second run of the slalom competition). He retired from World Cup competition at the end of the 1989 season in March, days before his 33rd birthday.[13]


During the years from 1976 to 1978 Stenmark, along with tennis player Björn Borg, became a national icon in Sweden.[1] This was not changed by the fact that he moved to Monaco in 1980 for tax reasons.[3][8] At age 40, he won the Swedish Superstars championship in 1996.[14] On 26 December 2004, Stenmark survived the Indian Ocean earthquake while on vacation in Thailand. In 2015, he was a celebrity dancer on the Let's Dance 2015, where he teamed up with professional dancer Cecilia Ehrling.[15]


Stenmark was married to Ann Uvhagen, a Lufthansa airline hostess, 1984–1987,.[3][16] They have a daughter, born 1984.[17]

In 2016 he married his girlfriend of some ten years, Tarja Olli from Jakobstad, Finland, with whom he has another daughter, born 2008.

World Cup results

Season titles

Overall Slalom Giant Slalom

Season standings

Season Age  Overall  Slalom Giant
(w/ GS)

Race victories

86 wins - (46 GS, 40 SL), 155 podiums

Season Date Location Discipline
197517 Dec 1974Italy Madonna di Campiglio, ItalySlalom
12 Jan 1975 Switzerland  Wengen, SwitzerlandSlalom
21 Feb 1975Japan Naeba, JapanGiant slalom
2 Mar 1975Canada Garibaldi (Whistler), CanadaGiant slalom
13 Mar 1975United States Sun Valley, USAGiant slalom
197615 Dec 1975Italy Sterzing / Vipiteno, ItalySlalom
11 Jan 1976 Switzerland  Wengen, SwitzerlandSlalom
24 Jan 1976Austria Kitzbühel, AustriaSlalom
27 Jan 1976West Germany Zwiesel, West GermanyGiant slalom
7 Mar 1976United States Copper Mountain, USASlalom
14 Mar 1976United States Aspen, USASlalom
19773 Jan 1977 Switzerland  Laax, SwitzerlandSlalom
10 Jan 1977West Germany Berchtesgaden, W. GermanySlalom
16 Jan 1977Austria Kitzbühel, AustriaSlalom
23 Jan 1977 Switzerland  Wengen, SwitzerlandSlalom
6 Feb 1977Austria St. Anton, AustriaSlalom
6 Mar 1977United States Sun Valley, USA  Giant slalom  
18 Mar 1977Norway Voss, NorwaySlalom
20 Mar 1977Sweden Åre, SwedenSlalom
21 Mar 1977Giant slalom
25 Mar 1977Spain Sierra Nevada, SpainGiant slalom
197810 Dec 1977France Val d'Isère, FranceGiant slalom
13 Dec 1977Italy Madonna di Campiglio, ItalySlalom
14 Dec 1977Giant slalom
5 Jan 1978West Germany Oberstaufen, West GermanySlalom
8 Jan 1978West Germany Zwiesel, West GermanyGiant slalom
9 Jan 1978Slalom
18 Mar 1978 Switzerland  Arosa, SwitzerlandGiant slalom
19799 Dec 1978Austria Schladming, AustriaGiant slalom
21 Dec 1978Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Kranjska Gora, YugoslaviaSlalom
22 Dec 1978Giant slalom
7 Jan 1979France Courchevel, FranceGiant slalom
16 Jan 1979 Switzerland  Adelboden, SwitzerlandGiant slalom
23 Jan 1979Austria Steinach, AustriaGiant slalom
4 Feb 1979Czechoslovakia Jasná, CzechoslovakiaGiant slalom
10 Feb 1979Sweden Åre, SwedenGiant slalom
11 Feb 1979Slalom
4 Mar 1979United States Lake Placid, USAGiant slalom
12 Mar 1979United States Heavenly Valley, USAGiant slalom
17 Mar 1979Japan Furano, JapanSlalom
19 Mar 1979Giant slalom
19808 Dec 1979France Val d'Isère, FranceGiant slalom
11 Dec 1979Italy Madonna di Campiglio, ItalySlalom
12 Dec 1979Giant slalom
21 Jan 1980 Switzerland  Adelboden, SwitzerlandGiant slalom
27 Jan 1980France Chamonix, FranceSlalom
27 Feb 1980United States Waterville Valley, USASlalom
1 Mar 1980Canada Mont-Sainte-Anne, CanadaGiant slalom
10 Mar 1980Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, ItalySlalom
11 Mar 1980Giant slalom
13 Mar 1980Austria Saalbach, AustriaGiant slalom
15 Mar 1980Slalom
19819 Dec 1980Italy Madonna di Campiglio, ItalySlalom
10 Dec 1980Giant slalom
6 Jan 1981France Morzine, FranceGiant slalom
18 Jan 1981Austria Kitzbühel, AustriaSlalom
26 Jan 1981 Switzerland  Adelboden, SwitzerlandGiant slalom
1 Feb 1981Austria St. Anton, AustriaSlalom
2 Feb 1981Austria Schladming, AustriaGiant slalom
8 Feb 1981Norway Oslo, NorwaySlalom
11 Feb 1981Norway Voss, NorwayGiant slalom
14 Feb 1981Sweden Åre, SwedenGiant slalom
19829 Jan 1982France Morzine, FranceGiant slalom
12 Jan 1982West Germany Bad Wiessee, West GermanySlalom
17 Jan 1982Austria Kitzbühel, AustriaSlalom
19 Jan 1982 Switzerland  Adelboden, SwitzerlandGiant slalom
9 Feb 1982Austria Kirchberg, AustriaGiant slalom
198314 Dec 1982Italy Courmayeur, ItalySlalom
23 Jan 1983Austria Kitzbühel, AustriaSlalom
11 Feb 1983France Markstein, FranceSlalom
13 Feb 1983West Germany Todtnau, West GermanyGiant slalom
26 Feb 1983Sweden Gällivare, SwedenGiant slalom
198413 Dec 1983Italy Courmayeur, ItalySlalom
20 Dec 1983Italy Madonna di Campiglio, ItalySlalom
10 Jan 1984 Switzerland  Adelboden, SwitzerlandGiant slalom
17 Jan 1984 Switzerland  Parpan, SwitzerlandSlalom
23 Jan 1984Austria Kirchberg, AustriaGiant slalom
4 Feb 1984Bulgaria Borovetz, BulgariaGiant slalom
7 Mar 1984United States Vail, USAGiant slalom
198615 Dec 1985Italy Alta Badia, ItalyGiant slalom
25 Jan 1986Austria St. Anton, AustriaSlalom
27 Feb 1986Norway Hemsedal, NorwayGiant slalom
18 Mar 1986United States Lake Placid, USAGiant slalom
198729 Nov 1986Italy Sestriere, ItalySlalom
14 Feb 1987France Markstein, FranceSlalom
198919 Feb 1989United States Aspen, USAGiant slalom


Discipline 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Slalom 40291281
Giant 46131372
Parallel 0101
Combined 0011

World championship results

  Year   Age  Slalom  Giant 
197417DNF9not run

From 1948 through 1980, the Winter Olympics were also the World Championships for alpine skiing.
At the World Championships from 1954 through 1980, the combined was a "paper race" using the results of the three events (DH, GS, SL).

Olympic results

  Year   Age  Slalom  Giant 
197619DNF23not runnot run
  • Stenmark and Hanni Wenzel were banned from the 1984 Olympics (endorsement compensation).


  1. 1 2 3 Farber, Michael (18 February 1980). "Ingemar Stenmark seeks fast way down - and out". Montreal Gazette. p. 18.
  2. 1 2 Johnson, William Oscar (13 February 1978). "Whipping the cream of the crop". Sports Illustrated. p. 22.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Montgomery, Paul L. (10 January 1988). "Stenmark, at 31, is proving he can still tack slalom". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  4. "Steve Mahre takes giant slalom gold at World Alpine Ski Championship". Bend (OR) Bulletin. UPI. 3 February 1982. p. D3.
  5. Dobbin, Winsor (4 February 1982). "Steve Mahre steps from shadow". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. p. 27.
  6. Johnson, William Oscar (13 February 1982). "One Mahre time for America". Sports Illustrated. p. 22.
  7. "Stenmark takes gold". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 8 February 1982. p. 17.
  8. 1 2 "Stenmark ruled ineligible to ski in Winter Olympics". Eugene Register-Guard. 29 October 1983. p. 3C.
  9. "Ski stars banned from Olympics". Ottawa Citizen. Reuters. 26 November 1983. p. 71.
  10. "Ruling slaps Stenmark". Bend (OR) Bulletin. UPI. 7 November 1983. p. D-4.
  11. "Winter Olympics will take place without three alpine skiers". Palm Beach Post. wire services. 25 January 1984. p. D4.
  12. "Stenmark, Girardelli cleared to compete". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. 11 December 1987. p. 39.
  13. "Skiing: Stenmark retires". Lewiston (ME) Daily Sun. Associated Press. 11 March 1989. p. 22.
  14. "Swedish Superstars". The Superstars. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  15. Engman, Pascal (4 February 2015). "Ingemar Stenmarks tuffa start i Let's dance" [Ingmar Stenmark's tough start in Let's dance]. Expressen. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  16. "Stenmark marries airline hostess". Evening News. Newburgh-Beacon, NY. Associated Press. 10 September 1984. p. 4B.
  17. "Stenmark finds skiing fun again". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. 22 November 1986. p. 9C.
  18. In 1977 ex-aqueo with the Swiss Heini Hemmi and in 1984 with the other Swiss Pirmin Zurbriggen.

Media related to Ingemar Stenmark at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
Björn Borg
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
Succeeded by
Anders Gärderud & Bernt Johansson
Preceded by
Frank Andersson
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal with Björn Borg
Succeeded by
Malmö FF
Read all..