Slump And Comeback
After suffering a broken collarbone in 1989 and having weak seasons in 1988-89 and 1989-90, Tomba lost the 1991 World Cup in part as a result of a bizarre scandal at Lake Louise, Canada. Tomba was in Lake Louise preparing for a World Cup Super G race, when the manager of the Lake Louise ski area accused him of bad behavior, including knocking a female skier over while cutting into a lift line, and not showing proper respect to officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Tomba would not be permitted to compete in that Super G unless he publicly apologized. He refused, saying that he had already apologized to the woman whom he had bumped into, that he had done nothing else to apologize for, and blaming the misunderstanding on language differences. The race went on without Tomba (and without an another Italian skier who refused to race in protest of the Tomba decision), and Tomba finished the season just a few points short of the World Cup title. However, a cameraman for the Tele Monte Carlo station later wrote a letter to the International Skiing Federation saying that he had witnessed the incident at Lake Louise and that Tomba really had done nothing wrong. The skiing federation then declared that Lake Louise would no longer be allowed to host World Cup events, but for Tomba, the damage was already done.
Tomba was back in full form by the time the 1992 Albertville, France Olympics rolled around. Or the Albertoville Olympics, as Tomba soon dubbed them. His most often-repeated comment came at those games, when he told reporters that he had changed his training routine in light of the fact that he was getting older: now, instead of sleeping with three women until five A.M., he would sleep with five women until three A.M. (He was kidding.) He also set a new record, becoming the first Alpine skier ever to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in the same event when he won the giant slalom. Tomba only narrowly missed winning a second gold in slalom as well: he placed second, twenty-eight-hundredths of a second behind the Norwegian Finn Christian Jagge.