Zeno Colò

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Zeno Colò
Alpine skier
Zeno Colò.jpg
DisciplinesDownhill, Giant Slalom,
Slalom, Combined
Born(1920-06-30)30 June 1920
Abetone, Tuscany, Italy
Died12 May 1993(1993-05-12) (aged 72)
San Marcello Pistoiese,
Tuscany, Italy
Retired1954 (age 33)
Teams2 – (1948, 1952)
Medals1 (1 gold)
World Championships
Teams3 – (1948, 1950, 1952)
includes two Olympics
Medals4 (3 gold)

Zeno Colò (Cutigliano, June 30, 1920 – San Marcello Pistoiese, May 12, 1993) was a champion alpine ski racer from Italy. Born in Cutigliano, Tuscany, he was among the top ski racers of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

At the World Championships in 1950 in Aspen, he won gold medals in both downhill and giant slalom, and the silver in slalom.[1][2][3][4] Two years later, at the 1952 Olympics in Oslo, he won gold in the downhill,[5] and finished fourth in the giant slalom and slalom. Italy waited two decades for its next Olympic gold in alpine skiing, Gustav Thöni's win in giant slalom in 1972.[6]


Colò won the Lauberhorn downhill in Wengen in 1948, and took the slalom title there in 1949 and 1950. Following his near-sweep at Aspen in 1950, he also won all three North American titles in downhill, slalom, and combined the following week in Canada at Mt Norquay near Banff, Alberta.[7][8] At the 1948 Olympics in St. Moritz, Colò finished 14th in the slalom, but did not finish in the downhill, which also eliminated him from the combined. He set a speed record on skis in 1947, clocked at 98.7 mph (158.8 km/h) on the Italian side of the Little Matterhorn.[9] which stood for 13 years.[10]

After the 1952 Olympics, Colò linked his name to a line of ski clothing and, according to the regulations of the time, he was considered a professional. In 1954, he was disqualified by the Italian Winter Sports Federation (FISI) and was not allowed to participate in subsequent races, notably the 1954 World Championships in Åre, and he retired at age 33. The ban was lifted 35 years later in 1989.

Colò became a ski instructor in his native Abetone, helped develop the Pistoia ski resort, and promoted the Abetone Ski Company. In 1973, he designed three ski slopes that descend from the Gomito mountain, named Zeno 1, 2, and 3.

Colò died in 1993 from lung cancer at age 72 in San Marcello Pistoiese in Tuscany. The asteroid 58709 Zenocolò, discovered in 1998, was named in his honor.

World championship results[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom  Giant
Super-G Downhill Combined
1948 27 14 not run not run DNF DNF DH
1950 29 2 1 1 not run
1952 31 4 4 1

From 1948 through 1980, the Winter Olympics were also the World Championships for alpine skiing.

Olympic results Olympic rings without rims.svg[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom  Giant
Super-G Downhill Combined
1948 27 14 not run not run DNF DNF DH
1952 31 4 4 1 not run

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Italian wins Downhill title". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. February 19, 1950. p. 13A.
  2. ^ "Italian wins Giant Slalom". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. February 15, 1950. p. 12.
  3. ^ "World slalom title won by Swiss rider". Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. February 17, 1950. p. 4-part 2.
  4. ^ Howe, Nicholas (January 1989). "A time to remember". Skiing. pp. 106–108.
  5. ^ Smits, Ted (February 17, 1952). "Yank skaters set pace in Olympics". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. p. 12.
  6. ^ Stevenson, Jack (February 11, 1972). "Italian gold medals twenty years apart". Schenectady Gazette. Associated Press. p. 28.
  7. ^ Dunn, Nigel (February 27, 1950). "Veteran Italian skier dominates North American championship meet". Calgary Herald. p. 20.
  8. ^ "Sports briefs". Ludington Daily News. Michigan. Associated Press. February 27, 1950. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Girl skier hits speed of 70 m.p.h. at Kosciusko". Sydney Morning Herald. August 2, 1955. p. 1.
  10. ^ "Skier clocks 98.9 mph". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. August 4, 1960. p. 13.

External links[edit]