||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (February 2013)|
|— Alpine skier —|
|Disciplines||Downhill, Super G,
Giant slalom, Slalom,
22 October 1967|
Rauris, Salzburg, Austria
|Died||29 January 1994
Murnau, Bavaria, Germany
|Height||1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)|
|World Cup debut||9 December 1984 (age 17)|
|Teams||2 - (1988, 1992)|
|Teams||3 - (1989, 1991, 1993)|
|Medals||3 (2 gold)|
|Seasons||9 - (1985–89, '91–94)|
|Wins||5 - (2 SG, 3 GS)|
|Overall titles||0 - (5th in 1993)|
|Discipline titles||0 - (2nd in SG, 1993)|
Born in Rauris, Salzburg, where her father ran a ski school, Maier won the Super-G gold medal at the World Championships in both 1989 and 1991. She also took home the giant slalom silver medal in the 1991 event. Her first of five World Cup wins came in November 1992 and she had 21 podiums 59 top ten finishes in her World Cup career.
Two weeks prior to the 1994 Winter Olympics, the women's World Cup was in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in late January. The downhill on the classic Kandahar course at Garmisch Classic was held on Saturday, January 29, following an overnight snowfall. In a narrow part of the lower course less than twenty seconds from the finish, Maier's right ski caught an inside edge at 105 km/h (65 mph), possibly from a patch of soft snow, and caused a violent crash which broke her neck. She died of her injuries shortly after being evacuated to the hospital in nearby Murnau. At age 26, she had thought to retire at the end of the 1994 season, due to a small performance decay that caused her not to perform well both in 1992 Albertville Olympic Games and in 1993 Morioka Shizukuishi World Championships. However, she had bounced back from that crisis winning two GS in 1994 season and claiming podium in the two Super G of Cortina. Following these results, she was reconsidering her decision in the days before the fateful downhill run, planning to continue until 1995 World Championships in Spain.
Unlike most other fatal skiing accidents, her crash happened during a live television broadcast. Maier was survived by her daughter Melanie (b. 1989) and was buried in her home village of Rauris, where thousands attended her funeral. Teammate and close friend Anita Wachter wore Maier's world championship medals in the procession.
Initially it was claimed that her death was caused by hitting a wooden timing post. Based on that claim, Maier's fiancé Hubert Schweighhofer criticized the organizers of the race and filed suit against them. However, several months later the court found that Maier actually did not hit the timing post with her head, but probably broke her neck by crashing into a pile of snow on the border of the race course. The court did not find any negligence from the organizers and dismissed the suit. Manslaughter charges against two FIS race officials were dropped after a settlement was reached in 1996.
World Cup results
|1988||30 Nov 1987||Courmayeur, Italy||Slalom||3rd|
|7 Mar 1988||Aspen, USA||Giant Slalom||3rd|
|13 Mar 1988||Rossland, Canada||Super G||2nd|
|23 Mar 1988||Saalbach, Austria||Giant Slalom||3rd|
|27 Mar 1988||Parallel Slalom||2nd|
|1989||26 Nov 1988||Schladming, Austria||Super G||2nd|
|28 Nov 1988||Les Menuires, France||Giant Slalom||3rd|
|16 Dec 1988||Altenmarkt, Austria||Combined||2nd|
|6 Jan 1989||Schwarzenberg, Austria||Giant Slalom||2nd|
|7 Jan 1989||Giant Slalom||2nd|
|1991||22 Mar 1991||Waterville Valley, USA||Giant Slalom||2nd|
|1992||26 Jan 1992||Morzine, France||Super G||2nd|
|1993||28 Nov 1992||Park City, USA||Giant Slalom||1st|
|13 Dec 1992||Vail, USA||Super G||1st|
|16 Jan 1993||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Super G||1st|
|20 Mar 1993||Åre, Sweden||Super G||2nd|
|1994||26 Nov 1993||Santa Caterina, Italy||Giant Slalom||3rd|
|27 Nov 1993||Giant Slalom||1st|
|15 Jan 1994||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Super G||2nd|
|17 Jan 1994||Super G||3rd|
|21 Jan 1994||Maribor, Slovenia||Giant Slalom||1st|
- "Maier defends super-giant slalom crown". The Telegraph (Nashua, NH). Associated Press. January 29, 1991. p. 17.
- "Ulrike Maier, 26; Austrian Skiing Star Won 2 World Titles". New York Times. January 30, 1994.
- "Austrian skier breaks neck, killed during downhill race". Sunday Star-News (Wilmington, NC). Associated Press. January 30, 1994. p. 8C.
- Lloyd, Barbara (February 3, 1994). "Skiing; Speed is with the risk for some". New York Times.
- "Thousands at Maier Funeral". New York Times. February 4, 1994.
- "Austrian fans say farewell to Maier". Toledo Blade. February 4, 1994. p. 21.
- "Skier's death won't prompt change in Olympic venues". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. February 1, 1994. p. 4D.
- "Skiing; World Cup defends safety despite criticism". New York Times. January 31, 1994.
- . International Herald Tribune 25 November 1994.
- "Death probe". Union-Democrat (Sonora, CA). Associated Press. April 24, 1996. p. 2B.
- "Tomba edges Zurbriggen". Anchorage Daily News. Associated Press. March 28, 1988. p. C2.
- Ulrike Maier at the International Ski Federation
- FIS-ski.com – Ulrike Maier – World Cup season standings
- Ski-db.com – results – Ulrike Maier
- Sports-Reference.com – Olympic results – Ulrike Maier
- Deadly Ski Accident from Ulrike Maier on YouTube
- Ulrike Maier at Find a Grave
|Austrian Sportswoman of the year