Florian Planker

Florian Planker

Alpine Skiing

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.


Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Limb deficiency
Origin of Impairment

Further personal information

Wife Helina, daughter Jana
English, German, Italian

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began playing Para ice hockey in 2006 in Bolzano, Italy.
Why this sport?
He had played ice hockey when he was a child, but he first took up alpine skiing following his accident after he watched the 1994 Paralympic Winter Games in Lillehammer. He moved on to Para ice hockey in 2006. "Once I entered the ice I immediately felt comfortable."
Club / Team
South Tyrol Eagles: Italy
Name of coach
Massimo Da Rin [national], ITA
Preferred position / style / stance / technique

General interest

Flok (Facebook profile, 27 Jan 2019)
Collecting mushrooms, hiking. (, 08 Feb 2018)
Memorable sporting achievement
Claiming gold in Para ice hockey at the 2011 European Championships in Solleftea, Sweden, and winning bronze in alpine skiing at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Most influential person in career
His wife Helina. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018)
Hero / Idol
Italian alpine skier Isolde Kostner. (Athlete, 08 Mar 2014)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
He uses the same hockey sticks if he reaches next stage of a competition, and replaces them if not. (, 08 Feb 2018)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Always give the maximum and use your head." (, 08 Feb 2018)
Awards and honours
He was flag bearer for Italy at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang. (, 09 Mar 2018)
Other sports
He represented Italy in alpine skiing at the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games in Nagano, and won a bronze medal in alpine skiing [LW2 super G] at the 2002 Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. Prior to his accident, he played able-bodied ice hockey in Italy's second tier. (Athlete, 10 Mar 2018;, 09 Mar 2018; VANOC, 21 Mar 2010)
At age 17 his left leg was amputated above the knee after he was involved in a motorcycle accident. (Athlete, 08 Mar 2014)


Unit Date Rank
Nagano 1998 Paralympic Winter Games (Nagano, Japan)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games (Vancouver, Canada)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed Classification 7-8 102
Mixed Classification 5-8 201
Mixed Group B 6
Mixed Group B 3
Mixed Group B 1
Torino 2006 Paralympic Winter Games (Torino, Italy)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Salt Lake City 2002 Paralympic Winter Games (Salt Lake City, United States of America)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships (Kangwonland, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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
Paralympic Winter Games 2014 (Sochi, Russia)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Mixed Group B 2014-03-08 1
Mixed Group B 2014-03-09 4
Mixed Group B - Standings 2014-03-11 3
Mixed Group B 2014-03-11 5
Mixed Classification 5-6 2014-03-12 201
Mixed Classification 5-8 2014-03-14 101
Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (Pyeongchang, South Korea)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
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 Semifinal 2018-03-15 2
Mixed Tournament Bronze Medal Match 2018-03-17 1