PR manager for the Italian and Austrian teams

Passing Date: 
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Robert Brunner, one of the greatest characters on the alpine World Cup, died of cancer on September 21, 2016 in Merano, Italy. He was 64.

Brunner was born in 1952 in Sterzing/Vipiteno, in the South Tyrol region of Italy, at the foot of the Brenner highway leading to Innsbruck. He spent more than three decades on the World Cup circuit, working first as a representative of the ski company Spalding-Persenico—used by racing stars like Olympic champion Gustavo Thoeni—and then as public-relations manager for the Italian ski team. Speaking a half-dozen languages, Robert was well-known in the ski world in his ancillary role as longtime personal assistant to three-time Olympic gold medalist Alberto Tomba during the late 1980s and 1990s.

From 2001 to 2010, Robert worked at the Austrian Ski Federation, where his friendly attitude helped to make champions like Stephan Eberharter and Benjamin Raich more accessible to the press. In 2010, he returned to the Italian team as manager, in charge of marketing and sponsorship. In early September 2016, despite worsening health, he traveled to Chisinau, Moldavia, to present the bid of the Italian ski resort of Anterselva to host the 2020 Biathlon World Championships.

Popular among ski teams, international media and FIS officials who appreciated his great sense of humor and kindness, Brunner will be missed by thousands of friends around the world. He is survived by his 21-year-old son, Nicholas.
—Patrick Lang

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Leave a comment


If you would like to leave a comment or remark, please login to your subscriber account.