Speed skier Franz Weber pleass guilty to speeding by Michael Schneider
World renowned speed skier Franz Weber appeared before Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl on Wednesday to plead guilty to one count of speeding for which he was fined $265.
Weber, now a Reno resident, was stopped by a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper going 120 mph, which pales in comparison to his top downhill speed of 138 mph in 1985, his last year of competitive speed skiing.
He was stopped Feb. 9. on Highway 395 between the California border and Carter Station in southern Douglas County.
“Were you on skis or in a car?” asked EnEarl, issuing the fine.
He told the judge that although he had been arrested, he held no grudge, saying he knew officers were only doing their jobs.
Weber, born in 1956 in Innsbruck, Austria, began to ski when he was 3 years old and started racing at the age of 10.
Weber appeared to be on his way to a promising ski career when he was severely injured in a skiing accident at age 14. Weber said he was paralyzed for six weeks after the accident.
After the accident, Weber moved to Switzerland to concentrate on his education and earned degrees in both French and business.
After winning the European Skateboard Championships in 1977, Weber thought he was ready for a return to competitive skiing. When Weber entered and won an international downhill race in Switzerland the next year beating may of the sport’s top racers, the rest of the skiing world agreed.
Intrigued by the then brand new sport of speed skiing, Weber began competing soon after his downhill win. Two years later, in 1980, Weber won the first of his six speed skiing World Championships and set four new world records including his best time of 138 mph.
Although at the top of his sport, Weber retired from speed skiing in 1985 citing his wish for a family as the major reason.
Weber began his own sports marketing firm, Franz Weber Inc. His roster of clients included World Cup Champion Tamara McKinney, World Champion Bernhard Knauss, Olympic Downhill Champion Franz Klammer, extreme skier Scot Schmidt, Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, and professional golfers Craig Stadler and Patty Sheehan.
In 1992, seven years after his retirement, Weber appeared at the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France to participate in speed skiing as it was being introduced as a demonstration sport.
Also in 1992, Weber concentrated his efforts away from client management and towards consulting and capital ventures. Weber has helped to start, and also competes in, what he likens to the senior golf tour only for skiers.
This tour is made up of seven events per year including the Sprint World Skiing which Weber compared to the Ryder Cup in golf in which North American skiers compete against European skiers.
It also includes two three-event series, the MCI World Downhill Tour and the three-event series, the MCI Downhill Relay.
Weber said the past year has been kind to him, as he won nine out of the 12 competitive races he entered.
Weber said of the area:
“I love it here. Within an hour we have 17 ski areas, many lakes, and I can ride my bicycle and play golf nine months of the year.
“I’m only 10 minutes from the airport and less than four hours from San Francisco by car. What more could I want?”