Ski legend Rosi Mittermaier († 72) is dead. The family confirmed this to Bayerischer Rundfunk.
The racer died after severe cancer in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
At the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Mittermaier won two gold medals in downhill and slalom and a silver medal in giant slalom. At the peak of her career “Gold-Rosi” then off. Six months ago, the sad news of cancer.
Mittermaier stood on skis for the first time at the tender age of two. Born in Munich, she grew up at the Winklmoosalm, where her parents had an inn with a ski school.
The marriage to Christian Neureuther (73) produced son Felix (38), also a successful skier. Daughter Ameli Neureuther (41) is a fashion designer. Everyone devotedly cared for Rosi Mittermaier after her illness.
sad: Rosi Mittermaier’s mother Rosa also died of cancer at the age of 73.
Rosi Mittermaier was socially committed for decades after her career ended, was, among other things, patron of the German Children’s Rheumatism Foundation.
The successful athlete founded a company with her husband, tried her hand as a pop singer, wrote books and was a member of the National Olympic Committee.
But her great love was always skiing. “For me, pure skiing is still the most beautiful thing there is and where my heart will always rise,” said the sports icon, who didn’t want to be reduced to the competitive athlete of that time.
But of course she was often asked about her sporting successes. The Upper Bavarian became known as “Gold-Rosi” and was a kind of pop star after her successes at the Olympic Games. “In my parents’ house there was a whole room full of mail and packages. The postman told us that 27,000 letters came in one month, he got totally mad because he had to bring the whole flood up to the Winklmoosalm,” Mittermaier recalled on the occasion of her 70th birthday.
The Bavarian state parliament honored Rosi Mittermaier as a great exceptional personality. “Rosi Mittermaier was an exceptional ski racer. Even after her skiing career, she was an exceptional personality and popular figure – always active, always committed, both sportingly and socially,” said Ilse Aigner (58/CSU), President of the State Parliament.
The former ski pro Markus Wasmeier (59), who was a good friend of Mittermaier’s family, described the deceased as “unique”. You leave a “huge void”. “We lost a fantastic person – Rosi had a heart the size of a bus, she was always there for everyone,” said the double Olympic champion in 1994. “You won’t find a person like that again.”
The successful ex-skier Christa Kinshofer (61) told BILD with tears in her eyes: “Rosi encouraged me before my first World Cup race in Bad Gastein in 1976. She was then No. 1 last and I as twelfth best German. The first congratulations came from Rosi. Then in 1980 I was a Hawaiian girl on stage at their wedding. Prof. Neureuther, Christian’s father, asked me to read anecdotes from a book. It was very atmospheric.”
IOC President Thomas Bach (69) also paid tribute to Rosi Mittermaier and explained: “Rosi Mittermaier was an extremely likeable and credible ambassador for sport, who always approached people openly and modestly. She inspired us all with her warmth and laughter. That’s why she will always be remembered as “Gold-Rosi” not only because of her two Olympic gold medals
DSV Director Wolfgang Maier (62) remembers a PK for the application for the World Ski Championships in Garmisch 2011 in relation to BILD: “Rosi wanted to speak German because she wasn’t quite sure of English. It turned out so wonderfully that a Japanese man, who certainly didn’t understand anything, immediately wanted to vote for it. Rosi was unique, not to be copied. You just had to like them.”
Bayern idol Sepp Maier (78) remembers meeting Rosi Mittermaier at the 1976 Olympic reception in Reit im Winkl: “I danced a waltz with Rosi there. That was great fun. It’s a shame that people like that have to die and that others who deserve it live on.”
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (56 / CSU) was shocked by Mittermaier’s death. “All over Bavaria we mourn our Gold-Rosi, an ambassador of our country in the world. Not only was she a successful athlete, she was a role model for all of us. We will all miss her commitment to her fellow human beings, her big heart and her unforgettable devotion,” wrote Söder.
DSV President Dr. Franz Steinle expressed his condolences: “With Rosi Mittermaier, the ski family loses an extraordinary personality who rightly enjoyed great popularity beyond the sport. Rosi Mittermaier was friendly and humble, always willing to help for any good cause – regardless of the function in which she could help. She was a soul of man.”
Thomas Weikert (61), President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, spoke of very sad news for German sport. “Thank you, dear Rosi Mittermaier, for the enthusiasm that you aroused in so many people and for your commitment far beyond sport! The gold medals were one of the most formative memories of winter sports in my youth.”