WHERE IS HE NOW: Wolfgang (Wolfi) Frandl
BMA Alpine Program Director 2000-2005
I was a proud and passionate Program Director at Burke Mountain Academy for five years. I’ve lived in Salzburg, Austria since 2005.
After BMA, I started an international PG program with a few graduates of BMA and others from Eastern colleges. The program was based in Austria to provide the best skiing and training opportunities as well as a cultural experience for the athletes living in Europe. Two years later I was recruited to coach the National Women’s Team of Norway. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to go back to the World Cup. I had the best time, although I always had in mind to stop traveling and to start my own company.
Finally, in 2011, I started my company called Frandl Sports. We offer everything a ski team, academy, club, or racer needs. Three years later I was offered to take over the racing department of Rossignol Austria. It fit together well with my company and I am living my dream and enjoying it very much. I am still very much involved in ski racing, but don’t have to travel all that much anymore. It is also very fun to watch ski racing a little more from the outside with a different view and can still help share my experience with young talents and ski coaches.
Melanie works as a manager for Louis Vuitton in Salzburg and Kitzbühel. She is very successful and also develops new managers for Louis Vuitton in Central Europe. Melanie and I separated this year, but still live next to each other. My daughter Lena is 26 and lives in Vienna and works for an insurance company and is in charge of their marketing program. I don’t think she really found her passion there, but all good experiences.
Filippa is 16 and enrolled this year in a private boarding school for international tourism.
I have a lot of memories of my time at BMA but not in words only in emotions, emotions full of joy, and pain.
The first thing that comes to my mind is the nasty weather. Clear sky in the forecast means -40° warm weather rain and it can change within 10 hours. But the strength and warmth of the people dedicated to the school overcome the bad weather.
My beginning was tough for me. In order to move the school to the next level, changes had to be made. New staff, new programs, new recruitment. The Mountain got sold to an owner nobody knew. But we overcame all the obstacles because we truly had a vision.
There are the memories of togetherness, lots of fun, unbelievable hard work, morning training with beautiful and also nasty mornings, athletes pushing each other to the limits, breakfasts full of dirty clothes after morning workouts, training and racing in unbelievable cold conditions no European could not even think of, and of traveling all over the world, during war times and the lift tragedies in Kaprun, Austria.
There are memories of great success and of course also days with tears and disappointments, but standing up with joy again after a bad racing weekend to ride the Poma lift and push for the next weekend’s racing.
Then there are the memories of unbelievably sad, heartfelt losses of BMA athletes and students in such a short time that was, and still is, hard to understand to this day. Their smiles will always live in my memories forever and how passionate they all loved the world of skiing. RIP Shelly, Amy, and Ronnie.
What I was most admired about my time at BMA is the commitment, passion, and dedication of the students, staff, parents, alumni, and Board of Trustees of the school that Warren started with his big dream! The honor code of BMA that we all lived by, our life was BMA for five years. I hope and know at the end we were making a difference in people’s lives on and off the racing hill.
It is you, all the alumni that return to BMA to be headmasters, teachers, coaches, or even board members and share your memories and experience with the new generation of students and staff. You show how strong and proud of a place this is with all the history it has. I know for sure there is no place like BMA and I was lucky to be a part of this for some time!
I wish you all the best for this school year in these challenging times.