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Austrian racer, New Hampshire ski school director, Beconta rep, retailer

Passing Date: 
Saturday, February 27, 2016

 

Austrian racer, New Hampshire ski school director, Beconta rep

Egon N. Zimmermann, 83, died February 27, at his home in Kirchbichl, Austria. In FIS archives, he is referred to as Egon Zimmermann I; the younger Egon Zimmermann II was Olympic downhill champion in 1964.

Born in Innsbruck, and raised by his impoverished grandmother in Kirchbichl, by dint of hard training and natural talent Egon earned a berth on the Austrian ski team in 1954, and after a number of GS victories became a top downhiller. He took second in the Hahnenkamm Combined three times (1958 to 1960, including second in downhill in 1958 and 1960 and second in slalom in 1959), and competed at the 1958 FIS World Championships (top ten finish in GS) and the 1960 Olympics (10th in downhill). He met American racer Penny Pitou at the 1958 Hahnenkamm and they were married in 1961.

The couple built a house in Gilford, New Hampshire, took over the ski school at Gunstock (then Belknap Mountain), and hired a disciplined staff of Austrian instructors. Two sons, Christian and Kim, were born in 1962 and 1965. After their divorce in 1968, Egon continued running the ski school, and worked as a sales rep for the ski equipment importer Beconta, In partnership with his boyhood friend Horst Hausberger, he opened ski shops in Gilford and Nashua, New Hampshire.

Egon’s second marriage ended in divorce in 1980, and he returned to Austria. He married his third wife, Hanna, in 1983.

Survivors include his widow, Hanna; siblings Ulli, Christa and Hans and their families; sons Christian (wife Debra) and Kim (partner Jenn); and grandchildren Zane, Zoe and Dylan. 

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