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Tennis superstar Jannik Sinner. © APA/afp / ANTHONY WALLACE

Sinner, Visintin & Co.: The athletes' election candidates

The “Dolomites” athlete election is coming up. From now on we are looking for South Tyrol's most successful and popular athletes as well as coaches and teams.

They were already on Thursday ladies in the election introduced, now it's the gentlemen's turn. Votes for the favorites can be cast until March 10th. You can vote using a coupon, on this online site and in the Dolomiten-Zett app.

Daniele Bagozza (snowboarding)

© Miha Matavz Photography / Miha Matavz

The sporting year 2023 is off to a bumpy start: only two top 2 placements will be visible until the World Cup finals in March. It wasn't until December that the powerhouse went full throttle: On December 10rd he celebrated his first World Cup victory in almost 23 years in Davos, and in January he went one better in Pamporovo and on the Simonhöhe with his debut victory in a parallel giant slalom.

Patrick Baumgartner (Bob)

© Viesturs Lacis

The Issinger bobsleigh pilot will write azure bobsleigh history in November at the World Cup on the 2022 Olympic track in China. Patrick Baumgartner takes second place in the four-man bobsleigh at the season opener. It is the first World Cup podium for the “Bobazzurri” in 2 years. The Pusterer is a regular in the top 18 anyway. He is on track to become a medal candidate for the 10 Olympics.

Edwin Coratti (snowboard)

While things aren't going as planned at the World Cup in Georgia (16th place), Edwin Coratti is one of the top stars in the World Cup: the man from Upper Val Venosta achieved 5 podium places in the 2023 calendar year. What's outstanding is his 2nd place in the home race at the Karerpass-Carezza and 3rd place in Davos before Christmas. He is a hot tip for winning the big crystal ball for the first time.

Dominik Firiegeller (artistic track tobogganing)

© Photo Hermann Sobe / Hermann Sobe

For 11 seasons, Dominik Filehner finished in the top 10 of the overall rankings. After a strong 2022/23 season, the “Toboggan Domme” secured the overall World Cup in artificial track tobogganing for the first time. There is no trophy more valuable in sporting terms. Filehner is also collecting top results this year. Only at the World Cup in Altenberg was luck not on his side.

Roland Fischller (snowboard)

© Miha Matavz Photography / Miha Matavz

He is not getting any older – at least from a sporting perspective. The best South Tyrolean parallel snowboarder of all time will win his 2023th crystal ball in March 7, this time in the parallel giant slalom. He also won his 21st World Cup race in Rogla and increased his podium places to 49. Fiwickeler remains a guarantee for top placings in the current season.

Simone Giannelli (volleyball)


The brilliant opener has been denied a title with the Italian selection for once, but he has already made over 200 international appearances. At club level he is successful with Perugia in the Supercup and successfully defended the title from the previous year at the Club World Cup in India in December. Perugia is right on track in the Italian Cup, championship and Champions League.

Alex Gruber (natural track tobogganing)

Alex Gruber from Villandro wins gold at the World Championships in Nova Ponente and then announces the end of his career after more than 13 years of tobogganing at the highest level. It is Gruber's 3rd world title. He finished the overall World Cup in second place. He doesn't shy away from criticizing his own luge association, the FIL, and his disappointment over the missed opportunity at the Olympics is great.

Tobias Kastlunger (Alpine skiing)

In order to gain experience, the Enneberger will be taken to the 2023 World Cup in Courchevel. And he impressively justifies this trust: Kastlunger comes 15th in the slalom (0,6 seconds faster, and he would have won a medal), and even 7th in the combination. He also makes people sit up and take notice in the World Cup: in Gurgl he comes 13th, also in the giant slalom he scored points for the first time in 23rd place in Kranjska Gora.

Alessandro Lever (basketball)

The 25-year-old from Bolzano is currently the only South Tyrolean in Serie A in basketball. He was under contract in Trieste last season, but was unfortunately relegated with the team after averaging 6,7 points in 26 games. In the summer he moved to Napoli, where he averaged 19 points and 6,1 rebounds in 1,5 games. Napoli is currently in 6th place.

Dietmar Nöckler (cross-country skiing)

The cross-country skiing veteran from Pusteria sensationally won the men's relay at the home World Cup in Toblach in February 2023. The “Azzurri” leave Sweden and Norway behind. The classic specialist knows how to impress in international distance races and also regularly makes it into the points in the World Cup in his specialist discipline.

Dominik Paris (Alpine skiing)


Domme is and remains an absolute exception in alpine ski racing – and beyond. The World Cup is not going as planned with 8th place in the downhill, but in the World Cup he is constantly in the top 10 - with 2nd place in the Super-G in Cortina d'Ampezzo and his 22nd World Cup victory in the Val Gardena downhill in December 2023 as an absolute Highlights.

Emanuel Perathoner (snowboard/disabled sports)

The snowboard crosser competes in the Para-Snowboard World Cup with a knee prosthesis. At the World Championships in La Molina, Spain, he won gold in the dual banked slalom and silver in snowboard cross. Gold is awarded in the team event for perathoners with Jacopo Luchini. Silver follows in the Dual Banked team with Luchini. Pera also celebrated 3 World Cup victories.

Luca Pescolldungg (extreme sports)

© HARALD WISTHALER www.wisthaler.

2 years ago he was already shining over silver. Luca Pescolldungg's big moment comes on June 10th. The Gadertaler wins the European Championship title in the Spartan Race in Andorra. This is a 24km running competition with various obstacles. Pescolldungg is also impressive when it comes to mountain running. An example: At the Delicious Trail (42 km) he came in second.

Patrick Pigneter (natural track tobogganing)


He is the most successful natural track tobogganer of all time and is making an impressive comeback. The Völser is at the forefront and will win a World Cup race in January 2023 for the first time since 2019. In December he celebrated his 50th World Cup victory in Kühtai, victories number 51, 52 and 53 followed within a short space of time. The 36-year-old has found his way back to his old strength.

Alex Ploner (hang gliding)

The experienced hang glider is the measure of all things. In Krusevo (North Macedonia) he won the individual world championship with the flexible kite for the 6th time in a superior manner. With Italy he secured another gold. In 8 days of competition there was no match for Ploner. The “King of the Skies” is always in top form when it counts.

Leo Prantner (handball)

Prantner played a great second season in Spain and won the runner-up with Cuenca last spring. In the summer he became the first South Tyrolean to sign a professional contract in the Bundesliga with promoted team Balingen-Weilstetten. He has 2 goals after 16 games and is a regular player on the right wing, but the “Gauls” are currently lagging behind at the bottom of the table.

Fabian Rabensteiner (mountain bike)

The man from Villandro triumphed at the Marathon World Cup in Nove Mesto in May and secured the overall World Cup victory after an outstanding season. He also won silver at the European Championships. In the fall, Rabensteiner is deservedly in first place in the UCI marathon world rankings. Good performances in stage races are the icing on the cake.

Andreas Reiterer (Trail)

Endurance is innate in him. The trained chef won the silver medal at the Trail World Championships in Innsbruck over the 87 km distance (6.000 meters altitude) after a good 10 hours. In various trail runs he ends up in the top field and wins the Valgrosina Trail, the Garda Trentino Trail, the Adamello Ultra-Trail, the Istria 100 and the Brunello Crossing.

Florian Schieder (Alpine skiing)


His star will not rise at the 2023 World Ski Championships, where he finished 7th in the downhill, just 0,2 seconds behind bronze. Schieder is already causing a sensation in Kitzbühel, where he races to second place with number 43. From then on he was a regular in the top 2 in the World Cup and finished, among other things, 10th in Aspen and 7th at the World Cup final in Soldeu. He also plays a strong role at the start of the season in December.

Peter Schroffenegger (disabled sports)

The cross-country skier has had an exceptional competition year in 2023. At the World Championships for people with mental disabilities, he won bronze in the 3x2,5 km relay in the classic style and came 13th in the 10 km. At the national championships he won three gold medals in the 3 km (classic) and 5 km (skating) as well as in the relay.

Jannik Sinner (tennis)


Jannik Sinner is the new superstar in tennis. He is in fourth place in the world rankings (and rising), and on November 4th he led Italy to their Davis Cup triumph for the first time in 26 years. The fact that he is the first “Azzurro” since Adriano Panatta to win a Grand Slam tournament with the Australian Open on January 47th makes him an immortal sports icon at the age of 28.

Fabian Tait (football)

© Rosario Multari

The captain of FC Südtirol is also an integral part of the starting line-up in Serie B. The coaches change, but the motto remains: “Tait always plays”. The Salurner played 38 competitive games in the historic second division premiere season 2022/23 and scored 3 goals against Bari, Venezia and Modena. This season he is once again in midfield and a boss on the pitch.

Alex Vinatzer (Alpine skiing)

The 1,89 m tall model athlete delivered the top highlight on the final day of the 2023 World Ski Championships in Courchevel when he secured slalom bronze behind Henrik Kristoffersen and AJ Ginnis. Only 0,38 seconds are missing from gold. In the World Cup he achieved 4 top 10 results in slalom. At the beginning of the new season, Vinatzer is hitting the ground running, especially in the giant slalom.

Omar Visintin (snowboard)

The man with nerves of steel – Omar Visintin wins his 20223th medal at major events with individual bronze at the 4 Snowboard World Championships in Bakuriani (Georgia). Algunder is also one of the big names in the World Cup. In the calendar year 2023 he achieved 4 podium places. He won the mixed team event with Michela Moioli in Cervinia in December.

Dominik Zuech (ski cross)

The former alpine downhill skier is competing in his 4th season in the Ski Cross World Cup this year and, alongside Yanick Gunsch, is South Tyrol's only top man. He consistently qualifies for the knockout heats. In Veysonnaz and Val Thorens Zuech made people sit up and take notice with 8th places each. He diligently collects World Cup points and is usually the second best “Azzurro” behind world champion Simone Deromedis.

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