Austria’s premier Schigymnasium (ski academy) Stams, located west of Innsbruck will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 30th September 2017. Most of the great Austrian winter sports athletes including Olympic Champions, World Champions and World Cup winners have come through the academy.
It was at the 1966 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Portillo (CHI) when the Austrian Ski Team produced disappointing results with three medals of which none was gold. For a nation that was built on skiing it was time to make substantial changes. The solution was to introduce a new concept: a ski academy that would house the country’s most talented young skiers under one roof to combine academic and athletic development.
Today, about 60 teachers and 27 coaches cater for the 170-180 students who spend four or five years in Stams depending on whether they complete a high school diploma or choose the business college (Handelsschule) option.
The academy launched the careers of many big names including Benjamin Raich, Marlies Schild, Stefan Eberharter, Elisabeth Görgl, Eva-Maria Brem, Nicole Hosp, Mario Matt (all Alpine Skiing), Toni Innauer, Gregor Schlierenzauer, Stefan Kraft, Andreas Kofler, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz, Michael Hayböck, (Ski Jumping), Felix Gottwald (Nordic Combined), Andreas Prommegger, Markus Schairer (Snowboard) and many other (click here for the list).
“In terms of athletic success, the Austrian Ski Federation would not be as successful if the ski academy of Stams hadn’t been founded” commented Peter Schröcksnadel, President of the Austrian Ski Federation and member of the FIS Council.
Watch a movie about the winning model of Stams here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USRhBy46zCY&feature=player_embedded