The Sochi Network

Meet the family who are 29th on the all-time Winter Olympics medal table

The Sochi Network

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Weirather


Tiny Liechtenstein - the landlocked Alpine country in Central Europe - has a population of just 35,000.

Not only does Liechtenstein have the lowest unemployment rate in the world, it has an incredible nine Winter Olympics medals.

That is comfortably the best per capita of any competing nation with Norway coming in next at around 19,000 people per medal.

What is even more remarkable is six of those medals have come from one family.

If they were a country they would be 29th on the all-time medal table, higher than Bulgaria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania amongst others.

And they could be moving further up that list in Sochi.

Tina Weirather is making a wave on the World Cup scene after recovering from a serious of injuries.

The 24-year-old former double World Junior Champion has three World Cup wins - one in Giant Slalom and two in Super-G - and 13 podium finishes in total.

She currently sits in third place in the World Cup standings in downhill, Super G and Giant Slalom which makes her a genuine multiple medallist in Sochi.

Her heritage is rich.

Weirather's mother Hanni Wenzel won two gold medals and one silver medal in the 1980 Winter Olympics after winning bronze in 1976.

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Wenzel

Her uncle Andreas won a silver medal at those 1980 Lake Placid Games and a bronze four years later in Sarajevo.

If Weirather, who endured four ruptured ACLs before her 21st birthday, can win a single medal that would mean 70% of Liechenstein's medals emanating from one family.

Weirather, whose father Harti placed ninth in the Lake Placid downhill for Austria, told The Associated Press in a recent interview that her parents have been giving her tips on how to handle the occasion.

She said: "They told me that at the Olympics everyone is a little bit more nervous and a little bit different to every other race.

"The Olympics is like 'Today is the day,' and I think that is more pressure than you have when it's about the overall."

Maybe it is time another member of the Weirather clan turns to a sport not on snow.

Liechtenstein are the only nation to win a medal in the Winter Games but not in the Summer Games.

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