Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. He swept the normal hill and large hill golds in 2002 and again in 2010. The 2018 PyeongChang Games are his sixth consecutive Olympics.
Ski jumping beginnings
Ammann was born June 25, 1981 and tried ski jumping when was 11 years old. Five short years later, he made his Olympic debut in Nagano.
Major competitions/ medals
Ammann finished 35th and 39th in Nagano on the normal and large hills, respectively. Ammann and his teammates took sixth in the team event.
When Ammann competed at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, he still had never won a World Cup. He took gold on the normal and large hill. He also finished in the team event.
Four years later in Torino, Ammann was not as impressive. He finished 38th and 15th on the normal and large hills. He was seventh again in the team event.
At the 2010 Vancouver Games, Ammann claimed two more gold medals on the normal and large hills. He didn’t compete in the team event.
In Sochi, Ammann carried Switzerland’s flag in the Opening Ceremony. However, he was unable to defend his Vancouver success. He finished 17th on the normal hill and 23rd on the large hill. He didn’t compete in the team event.
At the world championship level, Ammann has earned four medals over the past two decades: large hill gold (2007), normal hill silver (2007), normal hill bronze (2009), and large hill bronze (2011).
Ammann’s double gold performance in 2002 put him on the map. He was compared to fictional boy wizard Harry Potter because of his glasses. He was an instant celebrity, appearing on U.S. and international television talk shows.
When he returned home, he was greeted by hordes of fans, despite the fact that his hometown only contained about 1,000 residents.
Ammann is the most successful Swiss Olympic athlete of all time, with four gold medals.
“Basically there’s always eight years between the gold medals for me. So it would be my turn again,” Ammann joked in a 2014 interview
Ammann competed at five previous Olympic Games: 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. He won two gold medals each at the 2002 and 2010 Games.
Outside of training
Ammann loves flying, and earned his pilot’s license in November 2012. He flies over the Swiss Alps to clear his mind. In his free time, he likes spending time with his friends at the lake, watching movies and listening to music.
He got married to his wife Yana in 2010 and the couple welcomed a son, Theodore in October 2014.