Wrestler floors them all in national TV show

Alpine wrestling champion Jörg Abderhalden has been voted "Swiss of the Year" by television viewers of a gala event held in Zurich on Saturday evening.

This content was published on January 13, 2008 - 11:15

Abderhalden, aged 28, took 20.38 per cent of the telephone votes, ahead of the director of the new James Bond film, Marc Forster, and Ernesto Bertarelli, head of the yachting team Alinghi, which successfully defended the America's Cup in 2007.

"Alpine wrestling is popular, tradition is in," commented the victor of last year's federal wrestling festival in Aarau. Abderhalden succeeds Swiss national football trainer Köbi Kuhn for the prize.

Former head of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, took the award in the category "politics", Daniel Borel of computer peripherals company Logitech took the prize in "economy" and Ernst Beyeler, renowned in the art world for his gallery and Beyeler Foundation in Basel, won the "culture" award.

Other awards went to Forster "show business" and to Karin Mölling, director of the Institute for Medical Virology at Zurich University for her work in the fight against Aids "society".

Previous winners of the "Swiss of the Year" award have included Peter Sauber, former head of the Sauber Formula One racing team (2005), Lotti Latrous, who won the prize for her commmitment in helping Aids patients in the Ivory Coast (2004), Swiss tennis star Roger Federer (2003) and Beat Richner, who runs children's hospitals in Cambodia (2002).

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