Austria dominates Alpine Skiing World Championships

Anna Fenninger of Austria flies to Super G gold in Vail

At GSN we love countries that punch above their weight. This is why, besides the Global Cup, the ranking of the world’s best sporting nations, we also produce the Per Capita Cup, a unique ranking of the world’s sportiest nations, measuring how many inhabitants a country needs to win one GSN point.

And this is why we think it’s news when a nation such as Austria, 115th in the world in terms of size (it’s mostly mountains though…) and with a mere 8.5 million population, wins consistently a major international event such as the Alpine Skiing World Championships.
By consistently we mean that every biennial edition since GSN records began (odd years since 2009) has been comfortably won by Austria, who have scooped up 23.7% of all points awarded.
An astonishing feat considering that, though the field isn’t broad, the competition is hot among Alpine, Scandinavian and the emerging Balkan nations, not to mention the American giants USA and Canada.
The tables below tell the remarkable tale of Austria’s Alpine Skiing World Championships domination.
Their 2015 triumph is all the more significant for having been engineered on US home soil, in Vail-Beaver Creek, away from Alpine snow and on the crisper US equivalent. And away from the icy, steep Alpine pistes – Vail is a wonderful resort but, apart from the stunning Birds of Prey run used for downhill and Super G, its giant slalom and slalom courses, on the flatter sections of the Birds of Prey, were definitely tame compared to many Alpine counterparts.   
  2009     2011
Country Pts %   Country Pts %
Austria 19.7%   Austria 24.4%
Switzerland 17.4%   Italy 17.2%
Italy 12.8%   Switzerland 9.7%
France 12.3%   United States 8.5%
Germany 8.2%   Slovenia 7.4%
United States 6.9%   France 7.2%
Canada 4.9%   Norway 6.4%
Norway 4.1%   Sweden 5.9%
Finland 3.1%   Germany 5.4%
Slovenia 3.1%   Canada 3.6%
Czech Republic 2.3%   Croatia 2.1%
Croatia 2.1%   Czech Republic 1.0%
Liechtenstein 1.8%   Japan 0.8%
Sweden 1.3%   Finland 0.5%
  2013     2015
Country Pts %   Country Pts %
Austria 21.9%   Austria 28.7%
United States 13.9%   United States 12.2%
France 11.5%   Switzerland 9.3%
Slovenia 8.7%   France 8.3%
Italy 8.4%   Slovenia 8.2%
Germany 8.2%   Sweden 7.9%
Switzerland 7.5%   Germany 7.2%
Sweden 6.3%   Norway 6.2%
Norway 4.9%   Canada 4.4%
Finland 3.3%   Italy 2.0%
Croatia 2.8%   Czech Republic 1.9%
Canada 1.4%   Liechtenstein 1.9%
Czech Republic 0.8%   Slovakia 1.2%
Slovakia 0.5%   Finland 0.5%
      Russia 0.2%


These tables tell other interesting tales of the Alpine Skiing world:
  • the progressive erosion of results of the four Alpine countries (France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland), who have collectively fallen from 486 points in 2009 to 414 in 2015, despite Austria’s continued excellence
  • the parallel, irresistible rise of the USA - Canada pair, from 92 points to 143, leading to a US placement progression of 6th – 4th – 2nd – 2nd
  •  the consistently strong performance of another mighty midget, Slovenia – overall Per Capita champions in 2013 and 2014
  •  the appearance of Russia in the ranking for the first time in 2015.
On a broader scale, the race for the Winter Sports title is very much on, and the current ranking sees the USA (11.7%) and Austria (11.5%) neck and neck, though the Scandinavian countries will soon have more say with the Cross Country Skiing World Championships on their way in Falun (Sweden).