The fairytale story of the Vienna-born city girl’s journey to becoming a double world champion and Olympic champion has not been repeated to this day.
“I’m doing very well,” reported Dorfmeister shortly before her birthday when asked by APA. However, as Vice President of the Lower Austrian Ski Association, she is concerned about young skiers, especially from eastern Austria, due to the climate and lack of snow. In private, Dorfmeister has long been happily in a relationship again after earlier turbulence surrounding her ex-partner. Daughter Lea is 14 but will not follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her love belongs to confectionery and patisserie.
Michaela Dorfmeister was born on March 25, 1973 in Vienna. At the age of four, the family moved to the Unterberg in the foothills of the Alps in Lower Austria, where Dorfmeister joined the ski club. The soon-to-be-successful junior runner from the flat east of the country had to put up with enormous travel hardships in the beginning in order to be able to keep up.
25 individual World Cup victories
The persistence paid off. In December 1995, the first of 25 World Cup individual victories was achieved, in 1998 Dorfmeister missed Olympic gold in Nagano in the Super-G by a hundredth. From then on, at the latest, people knew the young woman, who had once attracted attention with her enthusiasm for rats and who had long been called “Mundl” because of her Viennese origin. In addition to World Championship medals, including gold in 2001 in St. Anton (downhill) and 2003 in St. Moritz (super-G), Dorfmeister won the overall World Cup ranking in a superior manner in 2001/2002.
Today, Dorfmeister is caught up by its own past, as the long distances to the mountains continue to cause problems for the youngsters of Lower Austria. In addition, there is the extinction of small ski areas. “It takes parents even further to the snow. Many don’t do it anymore. It’s depressing and I ask myself where will we be in ten years?” Her own example proves even more “how lucky I was in my life to be able to achieve something like this”.
Dorfmeister was one of the three “Golden Girls” in a particularly successful era for the ÖSV women. Today, Alexandra Meissnitzer is, among other things, a TV presenter, and Renate Götschl is President of the Styrian Ski Association. “Women should generally have more confidence. And men accept that women are just as good at some things, if not better,” said Dorfmeister. But she doesn’t want to be a politician. “I’m far too honest for that.”
Dorfmeister’s most incredible World Cup season was the last. “It was crazy to drive knowing that that was the end of it.” Sporty everything worked out. She won the missing classics in Lake Louise and Cortina. Just before the Olympics, a near-crash with a snow groomer almost ended well, and she ended up winning gold in downhill and super-G at the Torino Games.
“Today I’m happy that Fanchini won”
And yet one thing in particular stuck with me from this winter. The Italian Elena Fanchini, who snatched a win from Dorfmeister at the time, recently died of cancer at the age of 37. “Today I’m glad that she won. She had a really difficult time. Somehow everything in life has a purpose.”
Dorfmeister now works as a newspaper columnist, and the sports school in Lilienfeld is named after her. She gives lectures and can be booked for corporate customer events. She is also involved in the development of an alcohol-free gin. The guest performance in the SK Rapid presidium is over. “But I’m still cheering, the club is very important to me.”
The fact that she was able to deal aggressively with her ex-partner’s scandal is also thanks to sport, says Dorfmeister. “There you learn to tick things off, draw a line and concentrate on the new.”
“I don’t even know who’s invited”
Dorfmeister has long had the center of her life in Purgstall in the Mostviertel, where she and her daughter live surrounded by animals and nature. Your sports trophies are distributed. A Turin gold hangs in the LSZ St. Pölten, other prices are in the Hotel Vienna of her partner Thomas in Vienna. He’s responsible for giving Dorfmeister a surprise party for his fifties. “I don’t even know who’s invited.”
The fifties would not “hurt” under any circumstances, assures Dorfmeister. “I’m in the middle of life. And a few more laugh lines on my face are okay if I have the necessary fun.”