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Last Updated: Friday, 7 January 2005, 15:46 GMT
Watch Ski Sunday highlights

It doesn't matter whether you love watching the ski racing, the high-speed crashes or just dream at the amazing scenery.

One thing is for sure, Ski Sunday is a national television institution.

Ski Sunday returns in January
Ski Sunday has been a favourite for more than 25 years

Ski Sunday was born after the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck were declared a television success.

How could anyone forget Franz Klammer's epic run to win downhill gold in his own backyard of Austria, and Ron Pickering's accompanying commentary?

The first programme was transmitted from Wengen in Switzerland with David Vine as presenter.

And Vine continued in the role for another 20 years.

There was none of the on-course technology and gadgets we are used to these days.

But the amazing mountain scenery and death-defying speed of the downhillers kept viewers hooked on a wet and cold Sunday afternoon.

And the names of Klammer, Ingemar Stenmark and Anne-Marie Moser-Proell were soon household names.

High points for the British ski team included Konrad Bartelski's second place at Val Gardena in 1981 and Martin Bell's excellent finish at the Calgary Olympics in 1988.

And who could forget Alain Baxter's "bronze" medal in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City?

And there have been several other memorable Olympic moments too.

Bill Johnson came from nowhere to win downhill gold in Sarajevo back in 1984, Alberto Tomba won a double slalom gold in 1988, and Hermann Maier suffered a spectacular crash at Nagano in 1998.

Vine finally hung up his ski boots in 1997, and Hazel Irvine, together with Matt Chilton and former Olympic skier Graham Bell have been the faces of the programme ever since.

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