Werner Grissmann - definitely one of the most colourful personalities in the history of the Ski World Cup to date: the chimney sweeper was one of the best ski racers in the world, book author and last but not least founder of the "toughest team competition under the sun" - the Dolomitenmann. The pleasant all-rounder, who always has an easy joke on his lips, even made it into the Guinness Book of Records.

Photo: Mirja Geh / Red Bull Content Pool

Alongside numerous stars such as Franz Klammer, Klaus Eberhard or Bartl Gensbichler, Werner Grissmann was an indispensable member of the ÖSV downhill team. Grissmann was always ahead in the intermediate time, but did not bring this time to the finish, which is why the nickname "intermediate time world champion" always accompanied him throughout his career. However, with a total of 10 top-three finishes and 46 top-ten finishes in World Cup downhill races, Grissmann is one of the best downhill specialists in World Cup history. In addition to a World Cup victory in 1973 in St. Moriz, Grissmann also won a precious metal at the World Championships in Garmisch-Patenkirchen in the downhill.

After his career as a ski racer, Werner switched to rallying and achieved the 5th place in the San Remo Rally. A 24-hour world speed record in a Porsche even earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 1990, together with Franz Doppler and Horst Felbermayr Senior. In addition, Grissmann was the operator of the radio station "Radio Grizzly" in East Tyrol and hosted an edition of ORF's culinary series "Aufgegabelt in Österreich". Werner also had an "audience" on "Wir sind Kaiser" in 2009 and was a guest on "Willkommen Österreich" in 2018.

Werner Grissmann was also the one who turned a mini-competition into a mega-spectacle: The Red Bull Dolomitenmann - "the toughest sporting event under the sun". The four-man relay event is already taking place for the 36th time this year and attracts numerous visitors from all over the world to Lienz in East Tyrol every year. This is also what connects us with Werner Grissmann: Lienz is the birthplace of Zanier Gloves; Werner Zanier, a contemporary of Grissmann and a professional skier himself, founded the Austrian glove brand here in 1969. It was not unusual for them to set off together for training on the Hochstein, for cycling or running. Especially the long-time Zanier employee Alfred Jack Jakober can tell many funny stories together with Grizzly.

Photo: Philipp Carl Riedl / Red Bull Content Pool

We met Werner Grissmann in the middle of the preparations for the 36th Red Bull Dolomitenmann on September 9, 2023 - according to his sense of speed and his ability to punch - for a wordrap:

Werner, what have you liked most in your life? Skiing, motorbikes or cars? After all, you were fast everywhere.
I was able to ski quite well, and that was my favourite thing to do. Then I drove in the World Rally Championship, where I was fifth in Portugal.

How did you come up with the idea for the Dolomitenmann?
That's what I dreamt. I woke up at 1.00 a.m. and said we have the biggest stadium in the world where athletes can run, cycle, fly and paddle. That's how I invented the „Dolomitenmann“.

Is it true that Zanier company founder Werner dropped you from time to time during training on the bike, or did he just tease you?
I don't know anything about that… (grins).

What is special about the Dolomitenmann 2023?
For the first time, women are also admitted to the competition. This year, seven women's teams and five mixed teams will compete at the Dolomitenmann.

Photo: Mirja Geh / Red Bull Content Pool

We are proud to support one of the five mixed teams this year and keep our fingers crossed for Andrea Böttger on the mountain bike, Martin Zoko on the kayak, Martin Klotz on the paraglider and Daniel Hainzer in the mountain run!

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