Alex Vinatzer

Alex Vinatzer wins bronze at the Alpine Ski World Championships in Courchevel-Meribel 2023

Alex Vinatzer, the owner’s son, wins the bronze medal after an exciting second run in the slalom and reaches the high-point so far in his young, successful career. Placed 6th after the first run, he managed a great second run and was even faster than the eventual winner Henrik Kristofferson up to the last split. “I lost some speed in the last few meters. As I crossed the line and saw I was second I thought ‘Now I can only hope.’” And the dream came true. After narrowly missing a medal after coming 4th two years ago at the Ski World Championships in Cortina, this time luck was on Alex’s side and he took the bronze medal. "Obviously, I dedicate this medal to my family, who always have my back," said Alex in the subsequent interview. This is Alex's first individual medal on the big ski stage after winning bronze in the 2019 team event at Are World Championships.

Italian World Cup alpine ski race

Alex Vinatzer, son of the family, attended the Stams Ski-specialised High School and is now a member of the Fiamme Gialle sport team. At 16 he took part in his first FIS race in the USA. In January 2017 he made his debut in the Europa Cup and just a few weeks later took part in the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Erzurum, Turkey. He won the gold medal in both Giant Slalom and Slalom – in the latter beating the nearest competition by 3.42 seconds. At the end of the season he took part in four races at the Junior World Championships, in Åre, Sweden, narrowly missing out on a medal when he came fourth in the Slalom.

The rise to the top of the world

Alex’s World Cup debut took place on 12th November 2017 in Levi. Two and a half months later the 18 year old was called up to the Italian squad for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. At the Junior World Championships in Davos that year he justified his nomination by winning the Silver medal in the Slalom. At the Olympics in South Korea, Alex was eliminated in the first run of the Slalom. He also took part in the Team Event and was the only Italian to win his quarter-final heat, against the reigning World Champion Alexis Pinturault, as the Italian team took 5th place.

In December 2018 Alex was placed 16th in the Slalom at Saalbach and won his first World Cup points. At the next race in Madonna di Campiglio he surprised everyone by coming 8th in the first run, but straddled a gate in the second run.

The son of the Savoy Dolomites Hotel had a very successful February 2019: at the World Championships in Åre he won a Bronze medal in the Team Event. The Italian team, made up of Alex Vinatzer, another South Tyrolean Simon Maurberger, Irene Curtoni and Lara Della Mea, were able to beat Germany in the “Small Final” round and won the Bronze medal.

Just a few days later at the Junior World Championships 2019 in Val di Fassa, Alex won the Gold medal in the Slalom. He lived up to his role as favourite and gave a flawless performance. In the first run he had a super time, with the 2nd placed Benjamin Ritchie (USA) lagging by 1.13 seconds. In the decisive second round, he safely crossed the finish line and became the first South Tyrolean to be crowned Junior World Champion in Slalom.

Alex Vinatzer, the 2019 Junior World Champion and bronze medal winner at the World Championships in Aare 2019

Thanks to a brilliant second run, Alex, the 20-year-old son of the house, achieved the first World Cup podium in his young career on the selective slalom slope in Zagreb in January 2020. Vinatzer showed his class in the first run by finishing in 8th place. However after the second run it is clear – the South Tyroler is ready for the top. The second best time placed Vinatzer in 3rd place. “I’m really happy about my first podium in the World Cup. A huge thank you to my trainers, especially Jacques Theolier, and my family at home” said Alex after the race in Zagreb.

Alex also placed 6th at the World Cup Night Race in Schladming. A 13th place in Madonna di Campiglio and 14th place in Kitzbühel complete the top positions in this year's World Cup season.

Alex ended the World Cup seasons 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 in 13th place in the Slalom classification. With a fourth and third place he got off to an optimal start in the 2020/21 slalom season. Then for unknown reasons his luck changed. In January he only finished in the points once in six starts. Unsure of himself, he started at the Ski World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo in February 2021. Suddenly he showed that you should never write him off. After the first manche he was in second position and a medal seemed to be in his reach. But then he narrowly missed a sensation, just missing the medal in the final manche and ending up in the thankless 4th place.

At the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2022, Vinatzer and the Italian team finished 8th in the team competition.

Alex Vinatzer is determined, focused and shaped by his “Ladin” roots. He is considered one of the greatest talents in the ski circuit and has shown that he can produce top performances at important events.

“Skiing is not just a job for me but my passion and so I love what I do. I love the mountains, the snow and to be surrounded by nature. I don’t really like the heat so I have chosen the right sport for me. My hobbies are playing table tennis and hiking,” so Alex on his website.