Milan (RWH) Willi Schneider, Germany's first skeleton world champion and currently coach of the Italian skeleton team, will celebrate his 60th birthday on March 12, 2023. His protégé Amadeo Bagnis had surprisingly won silver at the 2023 BMW IBSF World Championships in St. Moritz (SUI).
Schneider, who was one of the most successful skeleton athletes in the 1990s in addition to winning World Championships gold in 1998 and overall World Cup bronze in 1999, has a contract with the Italian federation until the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina. Previously, he successfully coached in Canada, Russia and China.
As coach of the Canadian team, he won three Olympic medals in Turin in 2006 (gold for Duff Gibson, silver for Jeff Pain and bronze for Mellisa Hollingsworth), and gold with Jon Montgomery in Vancouver in 2010. He then coached the Russian team and won gold and bronze with his athletes Alexander Tretiakov and Elena Nikitina at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. As coach of the Chinese skeleton team at the Beijing 2022 Winter Games, Willi Schneider's athlete Yan Wengang won the first ever Olympic skeleton medal for China. Currently, Willi Schneider is also member if the IBSF Skeleton Material Committee. ©RWH2023