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December 16, 2012
Austria's ski stars celebrated as Athletes of the Year

Marcel Hirscher and Marlies Schild, winners of SMA's Athletes of the Year awards. Photo/GEPA Sporthilfe
by Josef Langer, SMA Secretary General
VIENNA, December 16, 2012 - He won the overall World Cup 2011/2012 and also the discipline ranking in the Slalom; she won the Slalom World Cup. Marcel Hirscher and Marlies Schild, both from the Salzburg region, were awarded as Austria’s Athletes of the Year 2012. And once again, in the teams’ category winter sports shone with the unbeatable Skijumping team honoured. Thomas Morgenstern, Gregor Schlierenzauer, Martin Koch and Andreas Kofler earned won the Team trophy for their fourth time.

Michael Kuhn, President of Sports Media Austria, extended a welcome to 1,500 top representatives of Austrian sport from the stage of the „Eventpyramide Vösendorf“ near Vienna. And during a 50-minute live TV coverage on the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF, Kuhn heartily welcomed Gianni Merlo, AIPS President, and Yannis Daras, President of AIPS Europe/UEPS.

"This was an amazing event executed at the highest level," Merlo said after a wonderful evening, where he met also "stars of yesteryear" Karl Schranz and Annemarie Moser-Pröll.

491 members of Sports Media Austria (almost double the amount of last year’s poll) took part in the voting this year. We checked all E-Mail addresses and encouraged our colleagues to vote during the valid election time, resulting in an excellent participation rate.

The awards party ended late into the night and followed a concert by Austrian pop hero Rainhard Fendrich. His song "I am from Austria" is regarded as the second and "unofficial anthem" of the nation.

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