Ski legend Wachter cannot bear to watch as daughter Salzgeber wins gold
LAUSANNE, Jan 12 – Former Olympic and World Cup skiing champion Anita Wachter was gripped by nerves as her daughter waited in the starting gate for the women’s combined slalom on Saturday.
So jittery in fact that she could not bear to watch from her position at the top of the course.
Instead, Wachter waited for a phone call from her husband, the 1993 world championship silver medallist Rainer Salzgeber, who was watching on TV back home in Austria. He told her that their daughter, 17-year-old Amanda Salzgeber, had raced well and was in a strong medal position.
Wachter then skied down to the bottom of the course and waited for two more competitors to complete their runs before the official result was announced: Salzgeber had won the combined gold medal.
“I was so nervous. I was more nervous than her,” Wachter said after hugging and kissing her daughter in the finish area at Les Diablerets. “I did not witness the race. I was waiting until it finished.”
Salzgeber, who was fourth overnight after the combined Super-G, finished the slalom in 37.34 seconds, the day’s second-fastest time. She finished with a combined 1 minute, 33.74 seconds, securing an overall winning margin of 0.95 seconds.
“Mum said it was possible for me to get a medal but I have to push and it’s just great I did it,” Salzgeber said. “It’s good that I now have a medal just like mum. I wanted to do her proud and I did.”
It was indeed a special moment for Wachter, who won gold in the women’s combined at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Winter Games and captured the World Cup overall title in 1993.
“I’m happy that she won because she is investing a lot of time and energy in the sport,” Wachter said of her daughter. “She loves it and I am so very proud.”
“It is nice. I think for her it is very important because she knows she is on the way to great success and more medals if she continues on this winning track.”
Wachter has another daughter, 15-year-old Angelina, who is also an Alpine skier. She hopes to see both on the Olympic podium together one day.
By IOC Young Reporters for Olympic Information Service