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Tomba, the Great

Jun 12, 2024·FIS 100
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Alberto Tomba had already dominated the giant slalom at the 1988 Winter Olympics, winning by a large margin over Hubert Strolz (AUT) and Pirmin Zurbriggen (SUI). But it was the 6-hundredths-of-a-second lead he had over the German Frank Wörndl in the slalom on 27 February that made the Italian the "King of Calgary". One season earlier, Tomba had raced to the top of the world rankings. He followed up his first World Cup victory in the slalom in Sestriere with eight more - triumphing in the slalom and giant slalom World Cup.

In addition to his unusually muscular physique for a skier – and his powerful and dynamic skiing style – Tomba also attracted attention with his extravagant lifestyle, attracting much media coverage for many years. He also overcame setbacks such as a broken collarbone in the 1989/90 season and was the man to beat in slalom and giant slalom for many years.

Despite his dominance, he was usually inferior in the overall World Cup because he competed almost exclusively in his two favourite disciplines - allegedly for the sake of his mother, who was worried about her son's health. Nevertheless, Tomba achieved a coup in the 1994/95 season, when he celebrated a total of eleven victories. In 1996, "La Bomba" finally crowned his career with the World Championship titles in ‘his’ disciplines. The brawny technical specialist may have preferred to be called "Tombone" - the "great Tomba" - but after such a glittering career he had probably made peace with his legendary nickname: "Tomba, la Bomba”.