|— Alpine skier —|
Kjus in January 2006
|Disciplines||Downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, combined|
14 January 1971 |
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|World Cup debut||14 January 1990 (age 19)|
|Retired||March 2006 (age 35)|
|Teams||4 – (1994–2006)|
|Medals||5 (1 gold)|
|Teams||8 – (1991–2005)|
|Medals||11 (3 gold)|
|Seasons||17 – (1990–2006)|
|Wins||18 – (10 DH, 2 SG, 2 GS, 4 K)|
|Overall titles||2 – (1996, 1999)|
|Discipline titles||4 – (1 DH, 3 K)|
Lasse Kjus (born 14 January 1971) is a former World Cup alpine ski racer from Norway. He won the overall World Cup title twice, an Olympic gold medal, and several World Championships. His combined career total of 16 Olympic and World Championship medals ranks second all-time behind fellow Norwegian Kjetil André Aamodt.
In February 1999, Kjus pulled off one of the most remarkable feats in the history of alpine skiing when he medaled in all 5 events at the 1999 World Championships in Vail, Colorado. Five skiers had previously earned four medals at a single World Championship (through 1980, the Winter Olympics also served as World Championships for alpine skiing): Toni Sailer of Austria in 1956 at Cortina and in 1958 at Bad Gastein, Marielle Goitschel of France in 1966 at Portillo, Chile, Jean-Claude Killy of France in 1968 at Grenoble, Rosi Mittermaier of Germany in 1976 at Innsbruck, and Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland in 1987 at Crans-Montana; the first four did so when only four medal events were contested, but no one before or since has medaled in all five alpine disciplines, downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined or Super-combined, at a single championship.
He started off on 2 February by tying Austrian great Hermann Maier for gold in super-G. Four days later, in the downhill at nearby Beaver Creek, Kjus settled for silver, 0.31 seconds behind Maier. On 9 February in the combined event, he narrowly missed his second gold, finishing in silver-medal position only 0.16 seconds behind compatriot Kjetil André Aamodt. With momentum building, Kjus captured gold in the giant slalom on 12 February, and then finished off his remarkable run two days later with silver in his weakest event, slalom. He had the lead after the first of two runs of slalom, but skied conservatively to assure he would win a fifth medal. He finished a scant 0.11 seconds behind Kalle Palander of Finland over two runs. Reflecting on his performance that day and the entire fortnight in Colorado, Kjus said "I always try my best, but I could never have dreamed ... maybe I could have skied faster in the second run, but I didn't want to be too aggressive. I knew I could get a podium, and that's all I wanted." He missed winning all five gold medals by a combined total of slightly more than half a second (0.58 seconds). Most impressively, he performed the feat while suffering from a chest infection which had dogged him all winter and often left him coughing and wheezing at the bottom of courses.
Those who have seen the live-broadcasting of his slalom at the Lauberhorn race in Wengen, Switzerland, on 17 January 1999, will never forget how he got out of the starting gate, got caught with the tip of his right ski, went backwards through the first gate and finished third in the end – his best World Cup slalom result ever, documented on a YouTube video
Kjus raced for 17 seasons on the World Cup circuit; his first race was in January 1990 in Alta Badia, Italy, and his last in March 2006 in Åre, Sweden. He won 18 World Cup events (10 in downhill, 2 in super-G, 2 in giant slalom and 4 combined), attained 60 podiums, and had 150 top ten finishes.
In February 2015 Kjus (and Aamodt) were selected as recipients of the Legends of Honor by the Vail Valley Foundation, and inducted into the International Ski Racing Hall of Fame.
World Cup results
2 overall, 1 downhill, 3 combined
^official season title in the combined discipline
was not awarded until the 2007 season
|1994||16 Jan 1994||Kitzbühel, Austria||Combined|
|1995||2 Feb 1995||Vail, USA||Super-G|
|1996||21 Dec 1995||Kranjska Gora, Slovenia||Giant slalom|
|29 Dec 1995||Bormio, Italy||Downhill|
|6 Mar 1996||Kvitfjell, Norway||Downhill|
|1997||26 Jan 1997||Kitzbühel, Austria||Combined|
|2 Mar 1997||Kvitfjell, Norway||Downhill|
|1999||12 Dec 1998||Val-d'Isère, France||Downhill|
|18 Dec 1998||Val Gardena, Italy||Downhill|
|16 Jan 1999||Wengen, Switzerland||Downhill|
|17 Jan 1999||Combined|
|22 Jan 1999||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|10 Mar 1999||Sierra Nevada, Spain||Downhill|
|2001||21 Jan 2001||Kitzbühel, Austria||Combined|
|2004||19 Dec 2003||Val Gardena, Italy||Super-G|
|22 Jan 2004||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|2005||4 Dec 2004||Beaver Creek, USA||Giant slalom|
|10 Mar 2005||Lenzerheide, Switzerland||Downhill|
World Championships results
- Lasse Kjus at the International Ski Federation
- "Norway's dynamic duo Aamodt and Kjus named 2015 Legends Of Honor". FIS. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- Lasse Kjus at the International Ski Federation
- FIS-ski.com – Lasse Kjus – World Cup season standings
- Ski-db.com – results – Lasse Kjus
- Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill. "Lasse Kjus". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC.
- Lasse Kjus at the International Olympic Committee
Nils Arne Eggen
|Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year