Two-time Olympic champion in alpine skiing Rosie Mittermaier died at the age of 72.
The Mittermaier family issued a statement to the SID news agency saying that she “passed away peacefully with her family after a serious illness”.
Mittermaier earned the nickname “Gold-Rosi” after winning gold in the downhill and slalom at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. She then won silver in the giant slalom.
After 10 World Cup victories, she retired at the age of 25 at the end of the 1975/76 season.
She and husband Christian Neureuther they were something of a celebrity couple in German ski racing and had two children, including a three-time world medalist in slalom Felix Neureuther.
President of the IOC Thomas Bach led the tributes by saying, “Rosi Mittermaier was a very charming and believable sports ambassador who always approached people in an open and humble way. She inspired us all with her warmth and smile. For all these reasons and more with her two Olympic gold medals, she will always be remembered by all of us as “Gold-Rosi”.
“Personally, it has been a great pleasure for me to experience her cordiality and natural dedication to the sport since we met in 1976. That is why I greatly appreciate working with her as a personal founding member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). My thoughts are with her family who have meant everything to her and to whom I extend my deepest condolences.”
Fellow German skier Markus Wasmeier, two-time Olympic champion from Lillehammer 1994, told SID: “We have lost a fantastic person. Rosi had a heart as big as a bus, she was always there for everyone – it was special. You won’t find someone like that anymore, she leaves a huge gap.”