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42-year-old becomes oldest world champion in snow sports

Andreas Prommegger

BAKURIANI, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 21: Andreas Prommegger of team Austria wins the gold medal, Arvid Auner of team Austria wins the silver medal during the FIS Snowboard World Championships Men’s and Women’s Parallel Slalom on February 21, 2023 in Bakuriani, Georgia. (Photo by Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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Andreas Prommegger, a 42-year-old snowboarder from Austria, became the oldest individual world champion in an Olympic snow sport, winning the parallel slalom on Tuesday.

Prommegger, whose best Olympic finish in five Winter Games was sixth last year, beat 26-year-old countryman Arvid Auner by 44 hundredths of a second in the head-to-head final in Bakuriani, Georgia.

“I didn’t expect this result today,” Prommegger said. “I believed in it, but I didn’t expect it.”

He displaced countrywoman Claudia Riegler, who won the 2015 World parallel giant slalom title at age 41, as the oldest individual world champion in an Olympic snow sport discipline. However, Riegler remains the oldest champion in an event that is currently on the Olympic program.

The parallel slalom was contested at the Olympics once, in 2014. Prommegger placed sixth in the parallel giant slalom at worlds on Sunday.

Prommegger was already the oldest man to win an individual world snowboarding title at age 36. He made his World Cup debut in January 1997, one year before snowboarding debuted at the Olympics.

Not counting Alpinism for the first Winter Games in 1924, Italian cross-country skier Maurilio De Zolt is the oldest snow sport athlete to win an Olympic gold medal at age 43, leading off the relay that stunned the host Norwegians at the 1994 Lillehammer Games. That’s according to

The oldest individual Olympic gold medalist in a snow sport is Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen, who won the sprint at the 2014 Olympics at age 40.

Older bobsledders and curlers -- ice sports -- have won Olympic gold medals.

Austrian Benjamin Karl, last year’s Olympic champion in the parallel GS, placed fourth in the parallel GS and 32nd in the parallel slalom at worlds.

In the women’s parallel slalom Tuesday, Swiss Julie Zogg prevailed two days after getting stretchered off the course after a crash took her out of the parallel giant slalom.

Czech Ester Ledecka, the Olympic parallel GS champion in 2018 and 2022, hasn’t competed this season after November collarbone surgery.

Peacock airs live coverage of the world freestyle skiing and snowboarding championships, continuing Wednesday with the mixed-gender team parallel slalom in snowboarding and the individual aerials events in freestyle skiing.

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