Hat trick, double and a brilliant debut: these are Upper Austria’s athletes of the year

Hat trick, double and a brilliant debut: these are Upper Austria’s athletes of the year
Track and field athlete Susanne Gogl-Walli
Image: GEPA pictures
Hat trick, double and a brilliant debut
The Swans Gmunden basketball players triumphed across the board last season.
Image: GEPA pictures
Gilded memory
Awarded posthumously: Fritz Fiausch

For the 49th time, the winners of the Upper Austrian athlete election were celebrated yesterday at the Palais Kaufmännischer Verein in Linz.

Ski ace Vincent Kriechmayr was awarded the prestigious title for the third time in this election, which was carried out by OÖNachrichten together with Sportland Oberösterreich.

The OCS Swans Gmunden basketball players achieved the big success as team of the year for the second time after 2005. And for Susanne Gogl-Walli it was a debut – this year for the first time the track and field athlete is the first choice in this freestyle, which is decided in the final by an expert jury.

Hat trick, double and a brilliant debut
The Swans Gmunden basketball players triumphed across the board last season.
Image: GEPA pictures

The collective as strength

“With a derby win behind us, it feels even better, we’re enjoying it,” said captain Daniel Friedrich, who led the “basket hunters” from Traunsee around 24 hours before the award with an outstanding triple-double – points (23), Rebounds (10) and assists (10) in double digits – which led to 81:61 over local rivals Flyers Wels.

“Something like this normally only happens in the NBA,” marveled Harald Stelzer, the Swans’ chief financial officer. But Friedrich is anything but a self-promoter: “We work as a collective, that is our strength,” said the 31-year-old.

The Athlete’s Choice Trophy is the well-deserved reward for the 21st, 22nd and 23rd titles in the club’s history. This time the time was ripe. “I can still remember, two years ago we were close, but were beaten by the Linz volleyball players. It’s nice that it worked out now,” emphasized Friedrich.

“Not a given”

The fact that he was able to repeat his victory last year in the election this year was anything but “business as usual” for Vincent Kriechmayr. “Upper Austria has so many outstanding athletes that it is not a given that you would be at the forefront in such an election,” said the Mühlviertler in his video greeting from the glacier training in Sölden.

A week before the departure from Zermatt, Kriechmayr was already in full competition mode. Small exception: The Kitzbühel winner dressed up for his video message, including a tie.

“If you win a prize like that, I can’t show myself here in a sweaty bodysuit,” said Kriechmayr, who won the election ahead of overall DTM winner Thomas Preining and swimming ace Simon Bucher.

Permanent guest among the world elite

For Susanne Gogl-Walli, her debut title was the reward for her constant progress, which led the 400-meter sprinter to the semi-finals (18th) at this year’s World Championships in Budapest.

“I am very proud of my development this year,” says the Linz native, who was one of the first Austrians to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

Gilded memory
Awarded posthumously: Fritz Fiausch

Gilded memory

For the first time, the OÖNachrichten special prize for deserving personalities from the world of sports, the “Golden Leo”, was awarded posthumously. Fritz Fiausch, who died unexpectedly in the summer after a short serious illness, was not only a reliable election assistant for athletes’ election candidates every year, sport was for him his job, vocation and purpose in life. In addition to his achievements as coach of the former water skiing miracle team, Fiausch started numerous initiatives in the area of ​​popular sports. He was also very involved in water rescue and fire services. His wife Christa and daughter Barbara accepted the “Golden Leo” on his behalf. Fiausch was 83 years old.

Upper Austria’s athlete of the year


  1. Susanne Gogl-Walli (athletics) 164 points
  2. Julia Mühlbacher (ski jumping) 125
  3. Andrea Mayr (athletics) 122
  4. Lena Kreundl (swimming) 115
  5. Nicola Kuhn (water skiing) 99
  6. Jacqueline Seifriedsberger (ski jumping) 88
  7. Sarah Sagerer (basketball) 82
  8. Franziska Sterrer (climbing) 72
  9. Yvonne Marzinke (paracycling) 71
  10. Katharina Hochmeir (ski jumping) 52


  1. Vincent Kriechmayr (alpine skiing) 149
  2. Thomas Preining (motorsport) 136
  3. Simon Bucher (swimming) 119
  4. Lukas Weißhaidinger (athletics) 110
  5. Wolfgang Steinbichler (paracycling) 106*
  6. Felix Großschartner (bike) 106*
  7. Georg Enzenberger (triathlon) 79
  8. Kevin Kamenschak (athletics) 77
  9. Matthias Linortner (basketball) 67
  10. Lawrence Bogeschdorfer (climbing) 41


  1. OCS Swans Gmunden (basketball) 152
  2. Oberbank Steelvolleys Linz-Steg (volleyball) 144
  3. HC Linz AG (handball) 124
  4. TGW Decathlon Union (athletics) 115
  5. LASK (football) 102
  6. FC Blau-Weiß Linz (football) 96
  7. Hrinkow Advarics Steyr (Rad) 75
  8. ASV Linz (swimming) 72
  9. SPG Felbermayr Wels (table tennis) 56
  10. Steinbach Black Wings Linz (ice hockey) 54

* In the event of a tie, the result of the public vote will decide

Jury election mode: 1st place – 10 points, then descending to 10th place – 1 point, votes from the public vote count twice

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