The Winter Sports Museum Mürzzuschlag is located in the municipality of Mürzzuschlag in the district of Bruck-Mürzzuschlag in the northeast of Styria (Austria).
The Mürzzuschlager innkeeper and skiing pioneer Toni Schruf and the Graz champagne producer Max Kleinoscheg are considered the founders of alpine skiing in Central Europe.
The first ski race in Central Europe was also held in Mürzzuschlag on 2 February 1893.
The race took place on the water line meadow (Pernreit). The course was 10 m wide, approx. 600 m long, with an incline of approx. 9.5°. 20 men, 5 women and 7 boys participated. Samson (a Norwegian) won the race. The women’s race was won by Mizzi Angerer from Vienna. To the amusement of the spectators, Samson then drove over a dung heap and jumped 6 metres.
For these reasons, it was decided on 20 November 1947 to set up the Mürzzuschlag Winter Sports Museum and Theodor Hüttenegger was entrusted with its establishment. Initially, only basement rooms in the Mürzzuschlag town hall could be made available. In 1966 the museum moved to the former forestry building at Wienerstraße 79.
The curator of the museum from 1982 was Hans Heidinger, the successor of the founder Theodor Hüttenegger. In 1997 Hannes Nothnagl was entrusted with the management.
In Oslo 1998 at the 1st FIS Ski History Conference, the Mürzzuschlag Winter Sports Museum was named a FIS Museum together with the museums in Oslo, Lahti and New Hampshire.
It soon became too crowded in the Wienerstraße. In 2004 the museum moved to the city centre of Mürzzuschlag. Today, the Winter Sports Museum has the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of winter sports history exhibits.
- Franz Preitler, Thorsten Buhl: Toni Schruf – the biography – about the ski pioneer (September 2009), ISBN 9783854891628