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Ulrike Maier's grave in Rauris, Austria

Ulrike Maier (22 October 1967 – 29 January 1994) was an Austrian alpine skier, two-time Super-G World Alpine Ski Champion.

Born in Rauris, Maier won the Super-G gold medal at the World Alpine Ski Championships in both 1989 and 1991. She also took home the giant slalom bronze medal in the 1991 event. She scored a total of 5 World Cup (2 Super-G, 3 Giant Slalom) race victories in her career.

On 29 January 1994 during a World Cup downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Maier crashed while skiing at 120 km/h down the slope and broke her neck[1]. She died of her injuries shortly after being evacuated to the hospital in nearby Murnau, Germany, at age 26. She had planned to retire at the end of the 1993-1994 season.

Initially it was claimed that her death was caused by hitting a wooden timing post. Based on that claim, Maier's fiance Hubert Schweighhofer criticised the organizers of the race and filed suit against them[2]. However, several months later the court found that Maier actually did not hit the timing post with her head but probably broke her neck by crashing into a pile of snow on the border of the race course[3]. The court did not find any negligence from the organizers and dismissed the suit.

Maier was survived by her daughter and was buried in her home village of Rauris, Austria.

  1. ^ [1]. New York Times. 30 January 1994.
  2. ^ [2]. New York Times. 31 January 1994.
  3. ^ [3]. International Herald Tribune 25 November 1994.

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Austria Sigrid Wolf
Austrian Sportswoman of the year
1989
Succeeded by
Austria Petra Kronberger
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