Present Olympic Athletes >> Thomas Morgenstern
- Date of birth
Spittal an der Drau
Olympic Games (2 medals -2 gold)
- Individual: 1st (2006)
- Team: 1st (2006)
World championships (7 medals - 4 gold, 3 bronze)
- Individual small hill: 3rd (2007)
- Team: 1st (2005, 2007, 2009)
- Individual Ski Flying: 3rd (2006)
- Team Ski Flying: 1st (2008), 3rd (2004)
- Overall: 1st (2008)
- 12 wins (at 22/03/2009)
The Four Hills tournament
- 2nd (2008), 3rd (2005)
Mercury and gold
Austrian ski jump prodigy Thomas Morgenstern was thought to be destined for a long reign at the top of his sport after winning two gold medals at Turin and the World Cup overall crown in 2008, but his pre-Olympic form has cast a long shadow over this prospect.
Since his World Cup triumph in fact, he has been supplanted in the sport and in the hearts of Austrian winter sports fans by his compatriot Gregor Schlierenzauer.
Nobody can quite put their finger on what has happened to the slender man born in October 1986 at Spittal an der Drau who not only became double world champion at junior level at 16, but won his first World Cup event at the senior level that same season.
"Along with my Olympic medals it (the world cup win) is my most emotional moment," said the pizza loving youngster.
By 2005 he came third in the prestigious Four Hills tournament and won a team gold at the world championships.
King of Turin
But the crowning glory of his burgeoning career came at the Turin Games where with just four jumps he edged compatriot Andreas Kofler for the individual title and took the team one to boot.
The following season he took his foot off the gas pedal somewhat, coming sixth overall in the World Cup without winning a single event and taking an individual bronze at the world championships.
Coming over all serious for the 2008 season, he swept to six consecutive World Cup wins equalling the record set by Finland's Janne Ahonen and Matti Hautamaeki. Then at the Four Hills he made the early pace although he was eventually overhauled by Ahonen.
Such was his form though, that he cruised to a World Cup overall title with a massive ten victories over a single season, becoming the first Austrian to win it for 12 years.
He also earned the title of national sportsperson of the year for his pains.
But he drew a complete blank the following year, coming seventh as his countryman Schlierenzauer stole the limelight.
So there is no clear favourite out in Vancouver, although a successful defence of his two titles would be no surprise given the heights to which he has previously soared.
Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.