A full list of the men's FIS Skiing World Cup Downhill champions since the first competition was held back in 1967.
The first ever downhill title was claimed by legendary Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy, and since then the greatest names in the history of the sport have lay claim to it, with the likes of Franz Klammer, Bernhard Russi, Karl Schranz, and more recently Pirmin Zurbriggen, Hermann Maier and Didier Cuche all having won the skiing downhill title at least twice in their careers.
Aksel Lund Svindal's victory in the 2012-13 FIS Downhill World Cup
meant that he became the first non-Austrian or Swiss racer to win the
season-long event since his fellow countryman Lasse Kjus back in the 1998-99 season.
Svindal's victory also means that only six different racers have won since 2000 -
Svindal, Kroell, Cuche, Walchofer, Stephan Eberharter and Hermann Maier.
But with the latter four racers all now retired and Kroell and Svindal approaching the tail-ends
of their careers, it will soon be time for a new list of racers to write a new
chapter in the downhill history book.
The list of winners of the FIS Downhill since the event started back in the late 60's is as follows:
|2014||Axsel Lund Svindal||Norway|
|2013||Axsel Lund Svindal||Norway|
The legendary Klammer Express himself, aka Franz Klammer, still holds the record for the most downhill titles with 5 to his name. Didier Cuche recently became the only other skier to have won 4 titles but his retirement after the 2011-12 season meant he just missed out on matching Klammer's haul. There are five skiers with 3 titles, including recently retired Michael Walchhofer, whilst a whole host of big names have won it twice, including legends such as Russi, Maier and Zurbriggen.
|Number of Titles||Name||Nationality||Years|
|5||Franz Klammer||Austria||1975 1976 1977 1978 1983|
|4||Didier Cuche||Switzerland||2007 2008 2010 2011|
|3||Luc Alphand||France||1995 1996 1997|
|3||Stephan Eberharter||Austria||2002 2003 2004|
|3||Franz Heinzer||Switzerland||1991 1992 1993|
|3||Peter Muller||Switzerland||1979 1980 1982|
|3||Michael Walchhofer||Austria||2005 2006 2009|
|2||Roland Collombin||Switzerland||1973 1974|
|2||Marc Girardelli||Luxembourg||1989 1994|
|2||Helmut Hoeflehner||Austria||1985 1990|
|2||Hermann Maier||Austria||2000 2001|
|2||Bernhard Russi||Switzerland||1971 1972|
|2||Karl Schranz||Austria||1969 1970|
|2||Aksel Lund Svindal||Norway||2013 2014|
|2||Pirmin Zurbriggen||Switzerland||1987 1988|
Only one winner here, as Klaus Kroell's recent title means the Austrians are well ahead of their old rivals Switzerland in the number of titles won. Still surprising that the Americans have yet to win this title and that the Canadians have only won it once. Oh yes, and it's good to see that mighty Alpine nation Luxembourg featuring so prominently as well in 5th place !
|Number of Titles||Nation||Years|
|23||Austria||1968 1969 1970 1970 1975 1976 1977 1978 1981 1983 1985 1986 1990 1998 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2009 2012|
|16||Switzerland||1971 1972 1973 1974 1979 1980 1982 1984 1987 1988 1991 1992 1993 2007 2008 2010|
|4||France||1967 1995 1996 1997|
|3||Norway||1999 2013 2014|
The final downhill of the year at Lenzerheide was cancelled due to fog, so race fans were denied an exciting end to the season and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal took the title as the leading downhiller up to that point. The 30 year-old became only the 2nd Norwegian to win the title, following Lasse Kjus back in 1999, and meant he'd done the downhill-double after winning the World Championship in the event in Schladming a few weeks earlier.
Klaus Kroell's victory in the 2011-12 FIS Downhill World Cup meant that he ended Didier Cuche's chances of making it three titles in a row. The Swiss legend had previously won four out of the previous five titles, an incredible effort that had put him within touching distance of joining the ski-racing daddy himself, Franz Klammer, on five titles. But Cuche's retirement after the 2011-12 season put an end to those hopes. Kroell's victory also means that only five different racers have won since 2000 - Kroell, Cuche, Walchofer, Stephan Eberharter and Hermann Maier. But with the latter four racers all now retired and Kroell approaching the tail-end of his career, it will soon be time for a new list of racers to write a new chapter in the downhill history book.