Florian Planker entered his fifth Paralympics in Sochi in 2014 as no stranger to adversity.
Italy’s veteran forward overcame a motorcycle accident at age 17 that resulted in the amputation of his left leg above the knee. But that didn’t stop him from becoming involved in elite sport.
He represented Italy in Para alpine skiing at three editions of the Paralympic Winter Games from 1998-2006, with his best result, a bronze medal, coming in the super-G competition at the Salt Lake City 2002 Games.
Planker, who holds an accounting degree, switched over to Para ice hockey when his team qualified for the Paralympics for the first time in 2006, as Torino hosted the Games.
With five years of experience in standing hockey prior to his accident, Planker had already mastered how to read the game on the ice, knowing exactly when to pass or shoot the puck.
He has been the team’s anchor and go-to scorer ever since, leading them to a European title in 2011 and sixth-place finishes at the last two World Championships. He was also on hand when Italy clinched their best ever finish at a Worlds in 2015 with fifth.
Planker was the leading scorer for Italy at both of those World Championships and he led all players at the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Qualification Tournament with eight goals – four of them game-winners – and five assists. Italy won silver there to qualify for Sochi 2014.
Planker, who often indulges in pasta to load up on carbohydrates before big games, talks a lot about how his family. His wife and daughter keep him motivated, and he said he admires his father more than anybody in the world because of the example he’s set in his life.
Further personal information
Sport specific information
He hopes to use his experience to help bring new Para ice hockey players into the national team for the 2026 Paralympic Winter Games in Milan-Cortina. "I would say that a dream I have is to put my experience at the service of the new generations, in any way possible. In particular, I would like to try to look for new athletes and together with the Italian Ice Sports Federation, bring them to Milan-Cortina 2026, in the hope of making our beautiful sport better known." (repubblica.it, 06 Jan 2021)
Following the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, he chose to reduce his competitive sporting activities, but remained committed to training with the Italian Para ice hockey team. "I no longer do all the things I used to do to keep fit, I confess. But I think training a little every day is fundamental. I imagine it is a problem for people who have to do it all at home, partly because not everyone can afford a gym at home. I always recommend a bicycle to keep active, but it's not the same thing." (repubblica.it, 06 Jan 2021)
He is head of the South Tyrol Eagles, the Para ice hockey section of Gruppo Sportivo Disabili Alto Adige, a sports club for athletes with an impairment in Italy. (sgks.bz.it, 04 Aug 2021)
|Men's Slalom LW2||Final Round||23|
|Men's Giant Slalom LW2||Final Round||9999|
|Men's Super-G LW2||Final Round||9999|
|Men's Downhill LW2||Final Round||6|
|Men's Slalom Standing||Final Round||41|
|Men's Giant Slalom Standing||Final Round||9999|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final Round||15|
|Men's Downhill Standing||Final Round||27|
|Men's Slalom LW2||Final Round||16|
|Men's Giant Slalom LW2||Final Round||5|
|Men's Super-G LW2||Final Round||3|
|Men's Downhill LW2||Final Round||7|
|Men's Giant Slalom Standing||Final||2009-02-21||25|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Final||2009-02-23||17|
|Men's Super-Combined Standing||Final||2009-02-23||16|
|Men's Super-G Standing||Run 2||2009-02-24||4|
|Men's Downhill Standing||Final||2009-02-28||14|
|Mixed||Group B - Standings||2014-03-11||3|
|Mixed Tournament||Group A||2018-03-10||1|
|Mixed Tournament||Group A||2018-03-11||3|
|Mixed Tournament||Group A||2018-03-12||5|
|Mixed Tournament||Group A - Standings||2018-03-13||2|
|Mixed Tournament||Bronze Medal Match||2018-03-17||1|