Franz Heinzer (born April 11, 1962, in Rickenbach, Switzerland) is a former alpine ski racer, who specialized in downhill. He was World Cup champion in downhill three consecutive seasons (1991, 1992, 1993), second only to Franz Klammer (5). He won a total of 17 World Cup downhill races, third behind Klammer (25), and Peter Müller (19). Together with Franz Klammer, Toni Sailer, Jean Claude Killy and Karl Schranz, he is considered among the best downhill racers of all time. He also won the season title in Super-G in 1991.
Heinzer won at the world's most famous downhill venues: Kitzbühel (3x), Wengen, Val Gardena (2x), Garmisch, Val-d'Isère, Aspen, Lake Louise, and St. Anton. His victory in the downhill event at the 1991 World Championships came after three fourth places at previous championships (Schladming (1982), Bormio (1985) and Crans-Montana (1987). He didn't compete in the downhill at Vail in 1989. At the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway, his right binding released at the starting gate, putting him out of the downhill race.
A month later, Heinzer retired from international competition at age 31 with 17 World Cup victories and 45 podiums. He now runs his own sports products company in Altdorf, and since the winter of 2004, also works as the assistant coach of Swiss national downhill team.
... Kitt Leonhard Stock Franz Heinzer 8 ... Val Gardena Italy December 14, 1991 Franz Heinzer Leonhard Stock Atle Skårdal 13 ... Garmisch-Partenkirchen Germany January 11, 1992 Markus Wasmeier Patrick ... Kitt Patrick Ortlieb 22 ... Wengen Switzerland January 25, 1992 Franz Heinzer Markus Wasmeier Helmut Höflehner 28 ... Panorama Canada March 6, 1992 William Besse ...