Olympic Athletes >> Armin Zoeggeler

Luge

Armin Zoeggeler

Age

40

Date of Birth

Jan. 4, 1974

Highlights

The six-time Olympian became a luge champion even though Italy did not have a top-notch track until the construction of the venue for the 2006 Turin Games. Zoeggeler won the Junior World Cup at age 14 and has been accumulating medals and titles ever since. He won his first Olympic medal, a bronze, at the 1994 Lillehammer Games, and followed that with a silver four years later in Nagano. Zoeggeler finally became Olympic champion at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, snapping German rival Georg Hackls streak of three straight gold medals. Performing under immense pressure at the 2006 Olympics, Zoeggeler became the first Italian to win a gold medal at the Games. He was then honored by being named Italys flagbearer in the Closing Ceremony. During training at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Zoeggeler was unhurt after crashing on the lightning-fast track on the same day Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia would later suffer a fatal crash. Zoeggeler went on to win the bronze medal and become the only Italian to medal in five straight Games. He also tied Hackl as the only athlete to win a medal in the same individual event in five Olympics.

Runup

Zoeggeler was the 2011 World Champion on the same track used for the Turin Olympics. He finished fourth overall in the World Cup standings in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons and won the bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships. Last season, Zoeggeler reached the podium three times in nine World Cup events, then skipped the 2013 World Championships to recover from back and neck injuries. However, this season he is proving that age hasnt slowed him down. At the fifth World Cup stop in Park City, Utah, in December, Zoeggeler won his first race of the season and his 56th overall. He ranked fourth in the midseason standings. At the 2014 Olympics, Zoeggeler will try to become the only athlete to medal in the same event in six straight Olympic Games. In October, the Italian Olympic Committee announced that he will be his nations flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony in Sochi. Zoeggeler was offered the same role in Vancouver, but turned it down because he was sliding the next day. Even though the schedule is the same in Sochi, Zoeggeler decided to accept the honor this time. He could also compete in the new luge team relay event.

Prediction

Zoeggeler could not only medal in singles, keeping his streak alive, but also in the new team relay event. However, he is a longshot for a gold.

Things To Know

  • One of his nicknames is "Il Cannibale," which either means he devours his competition or has a hunger to win. The other is "Iceblood Champion."
  • Off the ice, Zoeggeler is a policeman, a member of the "carabinieri."
  • Felix Loch of Germany, the reigning Olympic, world and World Cup champion, was 4 years old when Zoeggeler won his first Olympic medal.

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