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Lechtal Tourismus - Christoph Moosbrugger

Martin Fiala

When Martin Fiala visits us for the first time at the tourism association, there stands a tall man who appears calm, reserved and focused. There is no trace of arrogance or arrogance - quite the opposite: Martin appears modest, even though his life story is anything but ordinary. He experienced a lot before he came to the tranquil Lechtal. We talked to the ex-downhill skier/ski-crosser and Lechtal lover and learned an interesting story.


Martin Fiala spent his childhood and part of his youth behind the Iron Curtain in the former Czechoslovakia. "Even as a child, I often saw that freedom of expression and freedom of travel, for example, were not a matter of course. As a student, I was one of the best alpine skiers in Czechoslovakia at that time and therefore had the privilege to travel abroad a few times at a young age. On the one hand, it was a very nice experience to participate in international races, for example in Italy, but on the other hand, it was strange to realize that the system in which I lived was closed and limited.

He grew up just below the highest mountain in the Czech Republic, in Pec pod Snezkou, under the Snow Mountain. "In winter I skied to kindergarten and later to school. Often after school I didn't go straight home, but went skiing, because to get home I had to go up on a ski lift. I then skied with friends until the lifts closed," Martin recalls. "That's how it all began - my whole skiing career was simply based on childish fun that turned into ambition. Of course I wanted to be the best skier" - he smiles.

Simone Knitel_Lechtal natural handicraft

New beginning - At the beginning of the eighties, Martin's family dared to do what so many also wished for - to flee to a new life. Germany became their new home. "I didn't speak German and it was quite a break, both for me and for my parents. We started over with two bags" - he recalls.

Even before the iron curtain fell, Martin Fiala was already skiing for the German Ski Association and in 1989 he competed as a downhill skier in the first World Cup in Val dÌsere. "I was a downhill skier for the DSV until 1995 and was one of the top 30 downhill skiers in the world, with several placements in the top 15 in the World Cup, at the World Championships in Saalbach (AUT) and in Morrika (JAP). After being close to breaking through to the absolute top of the world a few times in 1994 & 1995, but not making it due to some crashes and injuries, I decided to study sports management and sports science. I then became professional world champion in downhill in 1999 and in ski cross in 2003"-he tells us.

"I fulfilled my dream of the Olympics quite late".
It wasn't until 2010 at the age of already 42, however, after a degree in sports science, 10 years working as a managing director and a 5-year break from competition, that Martin Fiala once again sought the challenge at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (CAN). A very special experience at the age of 42, "After that I declared my retirement from active competitive sports".If you will, the Olympics were still the "grande finale" and yet Martin Fiala could not get away from skiing. From 2012 to 2018 he was involved in the discipline of Ski Cross and took responsibility as Ski Cross Race Director at all World Cup events as well as at all World Championships and the Olympic Games in Russia and Korea.

Life in the Lech Valley - Simone Knitel

I have found a new home in the Lech Valley".
When we ask him what his everyday life is like today, Martin Fiala seems extremely satisfied. He seems to have arrived after all the experiences, travels and competitions.

"I've shifted down a few gears, after all the traveling I'm glad to have settled down and found a home in the Lech Valley. I fell in love with the Lech Valley and its mountains right from the first encounter, so to speak - and this love grows more and more every hour" - Martin laughs and continues: "I have been publishing the magazine BACKLINE(www.backline-magazin.com) for years, I am building up the platform Lechtal-Guiding(www.lechtal-guiding.com) together with some guides in the Lech Valley and I am active as an expert and consultant in the field of winter sports.

In addition to his numerous business commitments, however, he always takes the time to be out and about in the mountains of the Lech Valley. He appreciates the originality and tranquility that is otherwise rarely found. When we ask him which ski tour is his favorite, for example, he doesn't have to think long: I put on my touring skis at the front door and just go. From the Grießtal you can tackle many challenging tours, my house and favorite tour is the Zwölferspitze with its racy north slope. We have nothing to oppose this tour suggestion. Only one thing is clear: The ski touring season can start from us with pleasure! BUT: SAFETY FIRST and best always on the road with the experienced PROFI!

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Anja Ginther

von Anja Ginther

May 03, 2023


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