Anja Pärson

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Anja Pärson
— Alpine skier —
Anja Pärson Semmering 2008.jpg
Anja Pärson in 2008
Disciplines Downhill, super-G, slalom, combined, giant slalom
Club Tärna IK Fjällvinden, Tärnaby
Born (1981-04-25) 25 April 1981 (age 32)
Umeå, Västerbotten, Sweden
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
World Cup debut 15 March 1998 (age 16)
Retired 15 March 2012 (age 30)
Website anjapaerson.com
Olympics
Teams 3 – (20022010)
Medals 6 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams 7 – (19992011)
Medals 13 (7 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 15 – (19982012)
Wins 42
Podiums 95
Overall titles 2 – (2004, 2005)
Discipline titles 5 – (3 GS, 1 SL, 1 SC)
Anja Pärson in Aspen in 2006
Anja Pärson in Monaco in 2006

Anja Sofia Tess Pärson (Swedish pronunciation: [ˌanjaˈpæːʂɔn]; born 25 April 1981) is a Swedish former alpine skier. She is an Olympic gold medalist, seven-time gold medalist at the World Championships, and two-time overall Alpine Skiing World Cup champion. She has won a total of 42 World Cup races.[1]

Biography[edit]

Pärson, of Sami ethnicity, was born in Tärnaby, Sweden. Pärson was introduced to ski racing by her sister, Frida, and is now trained by her father, Anders. Her first World Cup race was a giant slalom at the World Cup Finals at Crans-Montana, Switzerland (on 15 March 1998). She qualified for that race as the new junior World Champion but only finished 25th in last place. She won her first World Cup race, a slalom at Mammoth Mountain, California, in December 1998 at age 17, and her first gold medal at St. Anton, Austria, in 2001. She clinched the silver medal in the giant slalom and the bronze medal in the slalom at the 2002 Winter Olympics, and added the gold in slalom plus two more bronze medals in downhill and combined in 2006 Winter Olympics.

Pärson won the Alpine Skiing World Cup overall title in 2004 and 2005. The latter title was won by the smallest margin ever, only 3 points over her fierce rival, Janica Kostelić. Initially a slalom and giant slalom specialist, she won her first super-G and downhill races in March 2005 at San Sicario, Italy, during the pre-Olympic competitions. In total, she has won 42 World Cup races in all five disciplines.

Pärson has won seven gold medals in the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, in 2001 (slalom), 2003 (giant slalom), 2005 (giant slalom, super-G) and 2007 (super-G, super combined, downhill). These go along with two silver and three bronze medals in other events in 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2011. With her three gold medals in 2007 at Åre, Sweden, she became the first skier in history to win World Championship golds in all five disciplines.

Pärson has earned a total of 17 individual medals in World Championships and Olympics, exceeding the record by Christl Cranz in women's alpine skiing. In men's alpine skiing this achievement has been beaten only by Kjetil André Aamodt, with 20.

After two disappointing seasons (2006/07 and 2007/08 where she finished fifth and sixth in the overall cup), she was back to her best over the 2008/09 season, finishing third in the overall cup.

At the 2010 Winter Olympics, while trying to chase down eventual downhill champion Lindsey Vonn of the United States, Pärson lost her balance on the last jump before the finish, resulting in a 60-metre flight and subsequent fall, without however suffering serious injury.[2] She recovered from the fall and one day later won the bronze medal in the combined event.

With a downhill victory in March 2011, she has won at least one race for ten consecutive World Cup seasons, trailing only Alberto Tomba and Vreni Schneider who won races in eleven consecutive World Cup seasons, and equalling the mark of Renate Götschl and Ingemar Stenmark.

On 12 March 2012, Pärson officially announced her retirement, and that her last competition would be the World Cup final in Schladming the coming weekend.[3]

In 2014 she became an expert commentator for Viasat during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Personal life[edit]

Pärson's athletics club is Fjällvinden, Tärnaby, the same to which skiing legend Ingemar Stenmark and Stig Strand belonged.

Her height is 170 cm[4] (5 ft 7 in). She was awarded the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 2006 and in 2007.

After living several years in Monaco during her sports career, she returned to Sweden and lives in Umeå since 2012.[5] In June 2012, Pärson announced on the Swedish radio program Sommar that she has been in a relationship with a woman for the past five years, and that they are expecting a child together.[6] Their son, Elvis, was born on 4 July 2012.[7]

World Cup results[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
slalom
Super-G Downhill Combined
1999 17 12 3 12
2000 18 8 3 15 39
2001 19 11 10 2
2002 20 5 3 3
2003 21 3 2 1 34
2004 22 1 1 1 15 42
2005 23 1 6 2 4 8 2
2006 24 2 3 1 9 7 2
2007 25 5 12 13 6 4 14
2008 26 6 15 15 7 4 3
2009 27 3 10 16 4 7 1
2010 28 3 16 10 7 3 2
2011 29 8 37 25 5 5 6
2012 30 32 39 21 28 9

Season titles[edit]

7 titles (2 overall, 3 GS, 1 SL, 1 SC)

Season Discipline
2003 Giant slalom
2004 Overall
Giant slalom
Slalom
2005 Overall
2006 Giant slalom
2009 Combined

Individual races[edit]

42 wins (6 DH, 4 SG, 11 GS, 18 SL, 3 SC)

Season Date Location Discipline
1999 3 Dec 1998 Mammoth Mountain, USA Slalom
2002 9 Dec 2001 Sestriere, Italy Slalom
29 Dec 2001 Lienz, Austria Slalom
5 Jan 2002 Maribor, Slovenia Slalom
6 Jan 2002 Slalom
2003 30 Nov 2002 Aspen, USA Slalom
15 Dec 2002 Sestriere, Italy KO-slalom
19 Jan 2003 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Giant slalom
25 Jan 2003 Maribor, Slovenia Giant slalom
26 Jan 2003 Slalom
6 Mar 2003 Åre, Sweden Giant slalom
2004 28 Nov 2003 Park City, USA Giant slalom
29 Nov 2003 Slalom
16 Dec 2003 Madonna di Campiglio, Italy Slalom
28 Dec 2003 Lienz, Austria Slalom
5 Jan 2004 Megève, France Slalom
24 Jan 2004 Maribor, Slovenia Giant slalom
25 Jan 2004 Slalom
7 Feb 2004 Zwiesel, Germany Giant slalom
8 Feb 2004 Slalom
21 Feb 2004 Åre, Sweden Giant slalom
14 Mar 2004 Sestriere, Italy Giant slalom
2005 23 Nov 2004 Sölden, Austria Giant slalom
23 Jan 2005 Maribor, Slovenia Slalom
25 Feb 2005 San Sicario, Italy Super-G
26 Feb 2005 Downhill
2006 11 Dec 2005 Aspen, USA Slalom
22 Dec 2005 Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Rep. Slalom
28 Dec 2005 Lienz, Austria Giant slalom
13 Jan 2006 Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria Downhill
27 Jan 2006 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Super-G
4 Feb 2006 Ofterschwang, Germany Giant slalom
11 Mar 2006 Levi, Finland Slalom
15 Mar 2006 Åre, Sweden Downhill
2007 15 Mar 2007 Lenzerheide, Switzerland Super-G
2008 15 Dec 2007 St. Moritz, Switzerland Downhill
16 Dec 2007 Super-G
9 Mar 2008 Crans-Montana, Switzerland Combined
2009 19 Dec 2008 St. Moritz, Switzerland Combined
18 Jan 2009 Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria Downhill
2010 29 Jan 2010 St. Moritz, Switzerland Combined
2011 5 Mar 2011 Tarvisio, Italy Downhill

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anja Pärson at the International Ski Federation
  2. ^ Patrick Vignal (18 February 2010) Paerson soars in scary crash. Reuters. Retrieved on 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup – Anja Pärson announces retirement. Fisalpine.com (12 March 2012). Retrieved on 29 July 2013.
  4. ^ "The Swedish team for the 2006 Olympics". Svenska Dagbladet. 8 February 2006. 
  5. ^ (Swedish) Pärson flyttar hem och bildar familj | Sport | SvD. Svd.se (23 June 2012). Retrieved on 29 July 2013.
  6. ^ (Swedish) Anja Pärson: Plötsligt föll jag pladask | Sport | SvD. Svd.se (23 June 2012). Retrieved on 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ (Swedish) Anja Pärson fick en son | Sport | SvD. Svd.se (6 July 2012). Retrieved on 29 July 2013.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Kajsa Bergqvist
Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal
2006, 2007
Succeeded by
Jonas Jacobsson
Olympic Games
Preceded by
Magdalena Forsberg
Flagbearer for Sweden
Turin 2006
Succeeded by
Peter Forsberg