RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- It’s something you don’t hear all too often: a sport that’s just too dangerous for Olympic competition. That’s one way to describe Speed Skiing, a sport made famous by Franz Weber, a man who knows all too well the challenges, trials and tribulations that face Olympians today.
It has been 22 yeas since Franz Weber competed in the Olympics. A native of Austria, and once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Fastest Human on Skis,” Reno resident Weber knows all too well what it takes to become a World Champion.
“It's not just a one year preparation," Weber said. "It's a skill set you need to acquire, at least 20-year plus preparation.”
Weber is a six-time consecutive World Skiing Champion, a feat that took Weber years of dedication, endless hours of training, and a little bit of luck to become part of skiing royalty. “In many ways, it's about a God-given talent that you have, that you need to discover and fine tune and refine it and hopefully for that day you peak and medal.”
Like many world-class athletes, Weber has taken more than his share of falls. “A lot of injures, a lot of recovery, a lot of perseverance, it's not about if you're going to when hurt it's when you're going to get hurt.”
Although at one time Weber clocked in at 138 MPH on skis, seeing today's Olympians go to extremes is no surprise. “It's human nature, records are there to be broken. If someone does a triple, the next one wants to do a quadruple.”
Weber is a supporter of the Reno Tahoe Winter Games Coalition, an origination dedicated to bringing the winter games back to the Sierras. He also runs a sports management consulting firm, helping former Olympians maintain a public presence once they have exited the world's stage.