Künzelsau: Sigloch Service Edition, 1976. Limited First edition. Hardcover. Folio. 238, pp. Original illustrated silver paper covered boards, with black lettering on spine and blue and black lettering on front cover. Limitation page with color photographic portrait of Karl Schranz*, the Austrian ski hero, handsigned by himself. Illustrated with numerous color photographic reproductions, this splendid volume documents the athletes and the most memorable moments of the 1976 Winter Games known as the XIIth Olympiad. Text in German. Binding and interior in overall very good condition. vg. Item #37678
* Karl Schranz is a former champion alpine ski racer, one of the best in the 1960s. During his lengthy career (1958 - 72), Schranz won twenty major downhills, many major giant slalom races and several major slaloms. Late in his career he was the successor to Jean-Claude Killy as the World Cup overall champion; Schranz won the title at age 30 in the third World Cup season of 1969, and repeated in 1970. He was also the downhill champion for those two seasons and was the giant slalom season champion in 1969. Schranz won the classic Lauberhorn downhill at Wengen, Switzerland, four times (1959, 1963, 1966, and 1969) and the classic Hahnenkamm downhill at Kitzbühel, Austria, also four times (1966, 1969 & 2 X 1972). He also excelled in the legendary Arlberg-Kandahar events that he won nine times from 1957 (Chamonix) to 1970 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen). The Olympics were unfortunately his nemesis. His disqualification from his fourth Olympics in 1972 for acknowledging that he was not a pure amateur (like all other top racers) caused a furor and the reform of the IOC. In his first Olympics at age 21, Schranz was injured in 1960, but started anyway and finished seventh in both the downhill and giant slalom. He won a silver medal in giant slalom in 1964 at Innsbruck, despite being ill with the flu. In 1968 at Grenoble, Schranz competed in all three of the Alpine events. He finished fifth in the downhill and sixth in the giant slalom, both events which were won by his rival Jean-Claude Killy of host country France. In his first run, Schranz recorded the fastest time. His second run was run in a very dense fog which hampered his visibility. During his run, Schranz was impeded by a race official which affected his race. He was given another chance to run the slalom and kept his lead, but after he did he was informed that his first run should have been counted and that as a result of missing a gate before encountering the race official, Schranz was disqualified. A jury upheld the decision and Killy was declared the winner. As Killy had already won gold in the downhill and giant slalom, there was a great deal of controversy over the suspicion that partisan French officials were attempting unfairly to prevent Schranz from winning so that Killy would sweep all three races, duplicating Toni Sailer's 1956 sweep. Schranz had better success at the world championships (then held every four years, like the Olympics): gold in the downhill and combined in 1962 and gold in the giant slalom in 1970. Had the World Cup begun a decade earlier, Schranz's outstanding achievements during his prime would be far better known. He would for instance rank behind only Klammer as the second best downhiller ever and would have been the overall world cup champion three (1966,69,70) or more times. Schranz later became a hotel owner in his hometown of St. Anton and played a key role in organizing the 2001 World Championships.