Sport in Austria
|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (April 2010)|
Due to the mountainous terrain, alpine skiing is a prominent sport in Austria. Similar sports such as snowboarding and ski jumping are also widely popular, and Austrian athletes such as Annemarie Moser-Pröll, Hermann Maier, and Toni Sailer are widely regarded as some of the greatest alpine skiers of all time. Austria has been the number one ski jumping nation for several years. At the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011, it took all 5 gold medals. The Winter Olympics here held in the town of Innsbruck in the years of 1964 and 1976.
A popular team sport in Austria is association football, which is governed by the Austrian Football Association. Austria was among the most successful football playing nations on the European continent, placing fourth at the 1934 FIFA World Cup, third at the 1954 FIFA World Cup, and seventh at the 1978 FIFA World Cup. However, recently Austrian football has been much less internationally successful in this discipline. It also co-hosted the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship with Switzerland.
Another popular sport is ice hockey, and there are 12 professional teams in the Austrian Hockey League, which also features one team each team from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia. There is also the Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga in basketball. Bobsleigh, luge, and skeleton are also popular events, with a permanent track located in Igls, which hosted bobsleigh and luge competitions for the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics held in Innsbruck. The first Winter Youth Olympics in 2012 were held in Innsbruck as well.
The Austrian Grand Prix was a Formula One race held in 1963, 1964, from 1970 to 1987, and from 1997 to 2003. Several Austrian drivers have competed successfully in Formula One. Niki Lauda is a three-time champion (1975, 1977 and 1984) and seventh winningest driver with 25. Jochen Rindt was crowned 1970 champion, after being killed in practice for a race; he also won the 1965 24 Hours of Le Mans. Gerhard Berger ranked third in 1988 and 1994, and has collected 10 wins and 48 podiums.
The top two motorsport venues are Österreichring and Salzburgring. The former hosted the Austrian Grand Prix, the Austrian motorcycle Grand Prix, and the 1000 km Zeltweg endurance sports car race, which is currently inactive. The latter has also held the Austrian motorcycle Grand Prix, the Superbike World Championship, the European Formula Two Championship, and top German series such as the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft and the Super Tourenwagen Cup.
- "Österreichischer Fußballbund". ÖFB (in German). 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
- "YOG Innsbruck 2012: Relive the announcement". International Olympic Committee. 12 December 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
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