Anderl Molterer - White Lightning

Passing Date

Austrian legend Anderl Molterer died on October 24, 2023, in his native Kitzbühel. He was 92.

Molterer was born on October 8, 1931. From 1953 to 1959, he won all the most prestigious Alpine races of that era—the Kandahar, the Hahnenkamm and the Lauberhorn—several times. He won 11 national championships between 1952 and 1960.

In the 1950s, Molterer was part of the six-person Kitzbühel “miracle” team, alongside Fritz Huber, Hias Leitner, Ernst Hinterseer, Christian Pravda and Toni Sailer. On the world stage, he won a downhill bronze at the World Championships in Åre, Sweden, in 1954 and silver and bronze at the Olympics in Cortina, Italy, in 1956. During these years, the international ski press dubbed him “Der Weisse Blitz von Kitz,” (white lightning from Kitz) because of his blond hair, as opposed to Toni Sailer, the “Black Blitz.” Molterer celebrated more than 50 FIS race victories, but never won FIS or Olympic gold.

Following the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics, Molterer moved to Aspen and worked for the Aspen Skiing Company as race director and VIP ambassador. During the 1960–1961 season, Friedl Pfeifer created the first professional ski racing circuit, the International Professional Ski Racing Association. Molterer won the pro championships four times before the tour folded in 1966. That same year, Molterer, Pepi Gramshammer and Eric Sailer set up the Red Lodge
International Summer Ski Racing Camp as a hub of Alpine training.

Molterer lived in the United States for more than 60 years with his partner, Kay. After her passing in 2022, he returned to Kitzbühel. In 2000, Kitzbühel named him the “Hahnenkamm Legend of the Century” for his nine Hahnenkamm victories, more than any other competitor.