"One of us": Ski legend Rosi Mittermaier is dead

Two-time Olympic ski champion Rosi Mittermaier is dead.

"One of us": Ski legend Rosi Mittermaier is dead

Two-time Olympic ski champion Rosi Mittermaier is dead. According to her family, she died "after a serious illness". Mittermaier was 72 years old. The "Gold-Rosi" was not only one of the most popular winter athletes in Germany because of her success for decades.

The German ski icon Rosi Mittermaier is dead. This was announced by her family. The former ski racer and two-time Olympic champion fell asleep peacefully on Wednesday with her family after a serious illness. The mother of the former German ski star Felix Neureuther was 72 years old.

Mittermaier provided one of the biggest celebrations in German Olympic history when she won two gold medals in downhill and slalom and one silver medal in giant slalom in Innsbruck in 1976. "These uniquely emotional moments still feel as if they were yesterday," said former DOSB President Alfons Hörmann.

Mittermaier was then regularly asked about Innsbruck. The down-to-earth Upper Bavarian became known as "Gold-Rosi" and was practically a pop star after the Olympics. "In my parents' house there was a whole room full of mail and parcels. The postman told us that 27,000 letters came in a month, he got totally mad because he had to bring the whole flood up to the Winklmoosalm," recalled Mittermaier on the occasion of her 70th birthday.

Mittermaier had been married to the ski racer Christian Neureuther since 1980, and their son Felix successfully followed in his parents' footsteps: in 2005, 2013, 2015 and 2017 he won a total of five World Championship medals, won 13 World Cup races and became the most successful German ski racer in the World Cup Story.

Rosi Mittermaier loved skiing. "For me, pure skiing is still the most beautiful thing there is and where my heart will always rise," said the alpine icon, who didn't want to be reduced to the competitive athlete of that time.

She had achieved too many other goals in her life for that. As an advertising ambassador, for example, she traveled the world. The Bayerischer Rundfunk praised Mittermaier, who became socially involved in numerous fields after her career, as "always one of us for many". One that drew people in, where heart and soul were the lifeblood. For themselves and especially for the people around them."

The Deutsche Sporthilfe wrote in its appreciation of Mittermaier's entry into the "Hall of Fame of German Sports": "It's not just her sporting success [...] that stamps her as an idol. Rather, the charisma of her overall personality and that of social commitment are also signs of it marked life after the career. Mittermaier-Neureuther dedicates herself intensively to the charity idea. She is patron of the Children's Rheumatism Foundation, Ambassador of the European Parliament for Sport, Tolerance and Fair Play and is committed to organ transplanted children at the association Kinderhilfe Organtransplantation. 2005 she was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit for her commitment.