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Passing of legendary coach Charly Kahr

May 09, 2024·Inside FIS
Charly Kahr with Renate Götschl and Elisabeth Görgl © GEPA
Charly Kahr with Renate Götschl and Elisabeth Görgl © GEPA

Styrian Charly Kahr (AUT), one of the most successful coaches in the alpine ski circus, passed away at the age of 92. Also known as "Downhill-Charly", he led numerous Austrian skiers to countless medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships in the 70s and 80s.

Charly Kahr had to end his own skiing career due to injuries at the age of 25. However, this setback might have been fortunate for Austrian skiing because a ski friend suggested he pursue a coaching career, which the Ennstal native did. In the same year, he took over the Styrian Ski Youth, which he coached until 1963 before moving to the Austrian Ski Federation (ÖSV).

From 1970 to 1972, Charly had a stint in England, where he moved and coached the English women's team.

Toni Sailer, then head of racing for the ÖSV, brought Charly Kahr back to the ÖSV in 1972 as a downhill coach. Soon, his popularity soared due to the downhill team's great successes, marking the era of "Downhill-Charly" and his rise to coaching legend status.

During his tenure, many notable names achieved countless successes: Annemarie Moser-Pröll and Franz Klammer at the forefront. Other medalists included Olga Pall, Christl Haas, Peter Wirnsberger, Hans Enn, Anton Steiner, David Zwilling, Hansi Hinterseer, Josef Walcher, Werner Grissmann, Harti Weirather, Erwin Resch, Ernst Riedelsberger, and Robert Zoller. In total, 7 Olympic medals and 13 World Championship medals were won under his coaching in Austria.

In 1985, Kahr bid farewell to racing.

I was a coach with heart and soul, always wanting the best for everyone, including myself as a coach, and I did everything to make people successful - and they ultimately did so by winning medals.Charly Kahr at his 90th birthday celebration in 2022

Afterwards, Charly Kahr, along with his wife Gerlinde, ran the Planaistub'n in his hometown of Schladming and operated a ski rental shop with his daughter Daniela. In Schladming, he was always dedicated to advancing the region. His commitment to Schladming during the bids for two Ski World Championships set standards.

With such a successful track record, numerous honors naturally followed, starting with the Grand Golden Medal of Honor of the State of Styria and the Silver Medal of Honor of the Republic of Austria. Charly Kahr made a significant contribution to the popularity of skiing with his coaching achievements and dedication to the sport. In recognition of this, he was awarded the "Snow Crystal of Skiing" by the Austrian Ski Association in 2017.

FIS extends its sincerest condolences to the friends, family, and former colleagues of Charly Kahr during this difficult time.

Text retrieved from Ski Austria official communication