As the son of an Austrian mother and German father, Fritz Dopfer was faced with the difficult decision of which nation to compete for early in his career. In 2007, he switched allegiances from Austria to Germany and will represent that country in his first Olympics in Sochi. Dopfer is one of the...
As the son of an Austrian mother and German father, Fritz Dopfer was faced with the difficult decision of which nation to compete for early in his career. In 2007, he switched allegiances from Austria to Germany and will represent that country in his first Olympics in Sochi. Dopfer is one of the rising technical ski racers in the world and could be a medal factor in the slalom and giant slalom.
2013: World Championships – Bronze (team), 7th (slalom, giant slalom)
2013: German National Championships – Gold (slalom), 15th (giant slalom), 37th (super-G)
2012: German National Championships – Silver (slalom), Bronze (giant slalom)
2011: World Championships – 15th (giant slalom), 21st (slalom)
2011: Germany National Championships – Gold (slalom), 10th (giant slalom)
2010: German National Championships – Silver (giant slalom)
2009: Germany National Championships – 4th (slalom), 5th (giant slalom)
2008: German National Championships – 5th (giant slalom), 12th (slalom)
2006: Junior World Championships – 9th (giant slalom), 24th (downhill)
Things to know:
1. Dopfer’s mother Rita is Austrian and his father Fritz is German. Though Dopfer was born in Innsbruck, Austria, the family moved to Schongau, Germany when he was an infant. He lived there until he was 11, then the family moved back to Austria, settling in Leutasch. Dopfer began competing for Germany in 2007, which enabled him to make his debut on the World Cup circuit in October of that year, rather than slowly work his way up the ranks of the ultra-deep and ultra-competitive Austrian team. He said his decision was motivated by both skiing and nationalist factors. “I switched to Germany because I had higher chances to compete in World Cup races and because I see myself as a German,” he said. “I feel more German than Austrian.” His first World Cup race, ironically, was in Austria, where he competed in the Soelden giant slalom for Germany.
2. In describing the difference between ski-mad Austria and the more varied preferences of fans in Germnay, Dopfer says, “In Austria, skiing is the main event. In Germany, it’s getting bigger now, but there is soccer. In Austria good skiers they are heroes. In Germany, good soccer players are heroes.”
3. While training at Copper Mountain in late November, Dopfer got the chance to ski with American giant slalom wizard Ted Ligety. “Ted is the man to beat,” Dopfer says. “He skis so smooth. Everything is on the edge. From gate to gate he gets faster. If you watch him on video, it looks so easy. Then you’re on your own, and it’s not easy like he looks.”