The Club des Sports de Val d’Isère is a resort institution. Val d’Isère became a proper ski resort in 1934 and the club was created shortly afterwards in 1935. The founder was an Alsatian called Charles DIEBOLD. It’s actually the most decorated club of its kind in the world, thanks to several exceptional champions.
Discover the champions who made Val d’Isère.
HENRI OREILLER (1925-1962)
He was the first French Olympic ski champion (two Olympic gold medals at St Moritz in 1948 in Downhill and Combined), nicknamed the ‘crazy downhiller.’ He died while driving his Ferrari on the Linas race circuit south of Paris in 1962.
Henri Oreiller was alway a fearless skier who, as a child and as a teenager, trained only in Val-d’Isère. He was champion of the Savoie region and, later, French champion. He always maintained close ties with the village where he spent his childhood, sending postcards after each race to l’Abbé Charvin, the village priest, as well as to Charles Diebold and Dr Frédéric Petri, president of the Club des Sports and the mayor of the commune. Dr Petri often took Henri to races in his Bugatti. Henri married his wife, Gisèle Léger de Voiron, in Val d’Isère on December 20, 1956.
FIRMIN MATTIS (BORN IN 1929)
In 1955, he won the slalom at the Critérium de la Première Neige. During the 1960s he was involved with the Club des Sports as a coach, sharing his passion for skiing with the Goitschel sisters and Jean-Claude Killy.
Firmin Mattis is rightly the first name on the long list of slalom winners in the critérium. This local farmer’s son experienced the whirlwind environment of international racing without his family being prepared for it: « For my parents, skiing was just a means of getting around. If you lived in Le Fornet you donned skis on Sunday to get to Mass – and that was all !
« They didn’t see skiing as a fun thing to do. Therefore, you can imagine what they felt when I travelled to Sweden or somewhere. They found this quite staggering, and they were really worried about it. My mother always packed some blessed bread in my pockets . Before I left,, horses and bread were blessed on the day of St Antoine, and I always had some of this with me. It must have brought me luck because I was never seriously injured. »
PAULE MORIS (BORN IN 1932)
She competed in the World Championships at Åre (Sweden) in 1954 and at the Winter Olympics at Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) in 1956. Paule was one of the first women to become an ESF ski instructor.
JEAN-CLAUDE KILLY (BORN IN 1943)
The greatest of all French champions won three Olympic titles at the Grenoble Olympics in 1968. During his exceptional career, he helped organise the Albertville Olympics in 1992 and was a member of the International Olympic Committee for 19 years.
Born at Saint-Cloud on the outskirts of Paris, nothing suggested that Jean-Claude Killy would one day become a top level skier. He was barely three years old in 1946 when he arrived in Val d’Isère with his family and put on his first pair of skis.
Passionate about sport, he tried out a number of different disciplines during his childhood before specialising in skiing. At the age of 16, his potential was spotted by the French Ski Federation and he was picked by Honoré Bonnet as a future ski team member.
After winning his third gold medal at the Grenoble Olympics in 1968, he retired from ski racing. He then went on to become one of the first international sportsmen to market his image for the promotion of worldwide brands. He was a racing driver, notably competing in the Le Mans 24-Hour race, a movie actor and finally the entrepreneur behind his own brand of ski clothing.
In 1981, he and Michel Barnier set about the task of organising the candidature for the Albertville Winter Olympics. During the run-up to the games he demonstrated his skills as an organiser and manager. For nine years Jean-Claude Killy was head of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) which organises the Tour de France and the Paris Dakar race. He was also asked to sit on the board of prestigious multi-national companies such as Coca-Cola and Rolex. In 1995 he became one of the 115 members of the International Olympic Committee. Notably, he presided over the organising committee of the Winter Olympics at Turin in 2006 and Sochi in 2014.
CHRISTINE GOITSCHEL (BORN IN 1944)
Christine is the oldest of the famous Goitschel sisters and she won Slalom gold and GS silver at the Innsbruck Olympics in 1964. It’s worth also noting that, Patricia, the youngest of the siblings was French junior slalom champion in 1964 ,while Patricia’s nephew Philippe Goitschel is a speed skiing champion.
MARIELLE GOITSCHEL (BORN IN 1945)
Marielle won GS gold and Slalom silver at Innsbruck and then Slalom gold at Grenoble in 1968. She also holds seven world championship titles. Marielle is one of the most decorated female skiers of all time. For six years (1962 to 1968) she was the outstanding medal winner in the history of French women’s alpine skiing. After the Grenoble Olympics she retired from racing at the age of 23.
GÉRARD BONNEVIE (BORN IN 1952)
He joined the French ski team in 1970 and took part in numerous competitions: he won the slalom at Kranjska-Gora (Slovenia)) en 1971, took fourth place in the slalom at St Moritz (Switzerland) in 1974, and was selected for the Innsbruck Winter Olympics in 1976.
PATRICE BIANCHI (BORN IN 1969)
He was crowned French champion in 1992 and competed in several World Cup races in the 1990s (two slalom victories in 1992 and 1993).
MATHIEU BOZZETTO (BORN IN 1973)
Mathieu was one of the best speed snowboarders of his era, winning two big Crystal Globes in 1999 and 2000. He took part in four Olympics and five world championships. He won bronze at the Vancouver Winter Games in 2009.
INGRID JACQUEMOD (BORN IN 1978)
She made her mark as a fearless ski racer from an early age. She was crowned French champion in all disciplines except slalom and took part in three Olympics and six world championships.
AUDREY PELTIER (BORN IN 1981)
She was selected for the French team from 1997 to 2007 and took part in numerous international races.
ANÉMONE MARMOTTAN (BORN IN 1988)
She joined the French team in 2006, competing at the Vancouver (Canada) Olympics in 2010 and was ranked as one of the top ten racers in the world during the 2010-2011 season. She took second place in the GS at Åre (Sweden) in 2014, her first World Cup podium. Anémone retired in May, 2016.
VICTOR MUFFAT-JEANDET (BORN IN 1989)
He competed in his first GS World Cup race in 2009, gaining his first podiums in 2015 and winning a total of four in 2016. He won bronze in the Super-Combined at the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018. His first World Cup victory was also in Super-Combined at Wengen in January 2018.
LÉO TAILLEFER (BORN IN 1989)
Leo is a freeride skiers who won the GoPro Line of Winter in 2015 and 2016. His head-cam ski movies are spectacular, with a combination of speed-riding, powder skiing, nightime descents down wickedly narrow and steep couloirs He is an ambassador for the resort and travels the world while recording his adventures.
CLÉMENT NOEL (BORN IN 1997)
He is from Ménil in the Vosges. He joins Val d’Isère for the 2012-2013 season. He made his European Cup debut in 2014 at the Super Géant in Val d’Isère. Following his exponential progression, he climbed step by step and participated in his first World Cup in November 2016. He scored his first world cup points at the Critérium de la 1er neige in December 2017, finishing 20th. Qualified for the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, he finished 4th in the slalom at 4 hundredths of the bronze medal.