Coberger takes silver in 1992 to become first Winter Olympic medallist from the southern hemisphere
Coberger won silver in the women’s slalom skiing event at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. In doing so she became the first southern
hemisphere athlete to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.
Her Olympic debut in the slalom was inauspicious. She skied conservatively
and recorded a time of just 49.08s, which put her eighth. The top three
athletes, including the favourite, Austrian Petra Kronberger, were nearly a
For three hours Coberger pondered her second run. In the best traditions of
Olympic skiing, she decided to risk everything and either finish fast or dip
out trying. Her second run was a phenomenal 44.02s, which propelled her into
first place. But with skiing’s reverse order start, Coberger had to endure an
agonising wait while the final seven completed their second runs.
Each skier challenged Coberger and failed until Kronberger, third after the
first run, finished 0.4s slower than Coberger’s second run, but with a combined
total that bettered the New Zealander’s. Spaniard Blanca Fernandez and American
Julie Parisien, who led after the first run, couldn’t do better and Coberger
had secured the silver medal.