Ekkehard Fasser led the Swiss team to the four-man bobsleigh Olympic gold medal in 1988 ©Getty Images

Ekkehard Fasser, a member of the Swiss four-man bobsleigh team that won the gold medal at the Calgary 1988 Olympic Games, has died at the age of 68 after a serious illness.

He died in St Gallen, as announced by his family and Swiss Sliding.

Fasser's win at Calgary 1988, supported by push athletes Kurt Meier, Marcel Fassler and Werner Stocker, was regarded as a surprise.

Their win meant East German favourites Wolfgang Hoppe, Dietmar Schauerhammer, Bogdan Musiol and Ingo Voge were forced to settle for silver.

The Swiss quartet were down in seventh after the first run, but a superb third run put them in contention.

They sealed gold with a strong final effort to finish in a time of 3min 47.51sec ahead of East Germany on 3:47.58.

Fasser announced his retirement from competitive sport after the race and he moved into a position as an amateur pilot as well as an official of Swiss Sliding.

He became world champion at Lake Placid in 1983 and won the European title in Sarajevo that same year.