Ingemar Stenmark had already given up the fight for the overall World Cup.
So when he came second in a competition, he was absolutely insane.
And the reason says just about everything about the icon.
Ingemar Stenmark was the athlete who made all of Sweden stop. He revolutionized the sport and was completely superior, even to the point where the rules had to be rewritten to prevent him from winning the overall World Cup by far, far too often.
Ingemar Stenmark was not a big fan of downhill races, so when the rule change came the three best results from the partial cups – slalom, giant slalom and downhill – counted. When Ingemar Stenmark simply didn’t ski downhill, his chances at overall World Cups were ruined, and that made him instead only chase records in the other disciplines.
One of the records that Stenmark was keen on was an odd one. In 1979, Stenmark came second in a slalom competition in Kitzbühl. Not a bad result, especially given the conditions with hard snow on the slopes. The reason was that he had starting number five. Stenmark was furious afterwards. He threw the staffs, clenched both fists, and couldn’t even nearly hide his anger.
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“Can take several years”
And all because he had raced in starting number five.
– Well, I have won on all starting numbers between 1 and 15 except for number 5 and number 14, Stenmark told Aftonbladet.
– So when I now got starting number 5, I was very happy. If I won, then it was only number 14 left.
But it didn’t turn out that way, and despite a nice second place, Stenmark was anything but satisfied.
– Now it may take several years before I get rid of those two annoying numbers. I may never make it.
What an incredible winning skull. Ingemar Stenmark – a genuine legend.
READ MORE: Ingemar Stenmark points out the incomparable detail from his career that makes all Swedes drop their jaws