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Josef "Pepi" Bader, Photo: privat

Garmisch-Partenkirchen (RWH) Those who knew him liked him. Josef Bader, whom everyone just called Pepi, is no longer alive. The former brakeman, who won two silver medals with pilot Horst Floth at the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Grenoble (France) and became 2-man bobsleigh world champion in 1970, died on 30 October 2021 - almost exactly five months after his 80th birthday - in hospital in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, according to friends.

"He was and will always be a good friend," his long-time companion Stefan Gaisreiter had said on the occasion of his 80th birthday on 29 May 2021. Bader, who is even immortalised in the official results lists with his nickname Pepi, and Gaisreiter share a special relationship. As a substitute for the injured regular pusher Gaisreiter, Bader stepped in for Wolfgang Zimmerer's 4-man bobsleigh team and won silver at the World Championships in St. Moritz in 1970. "He was incredibly strong as the last man - that quickness and that stature. He was one of the best brakemen," Zimmerer remembers of his sports comrade. He was not a loudspeaker, Gaisreiter told the "M√ľnchner Merkur" in the run-up to his 80th birthday. He was richly blessed with punchlines, according to Gaisreiter, and always up for a joke.

Only in 1968 did he stop laughing. At the Olympic Winter Games, Floth/Bader were in the lead, tied with the Italians Eugenio Monti and Luciano De Paolis to within a hundredth of a second. For two hours Floth/Bader were allowed to feel like Olympic Champions, then the jury decided in favour of the Italians. The better running time of Monti/De Paolis in the final run had tipped the scales according to the statutes of the World Federation at the time.

Josef Pepi Bader Horst Floth WM 1970Pressefoto Werek web

Photo: Pressefoto Werek 

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