In honour of a legend
Category: > | 11th Jan, 2017
On January 2nd local legend Jean Vuarnet passed away, aged 83.
Vuarnet achieved fame when he won gold in the downhill at the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley.
In claiming the gold medal he became the first skier to win a gold medal on metal skis, favouring them over the over flexible wooden versions. He was also the only competitor at Squaw Valley to use the aerodynamic low squat position. A true pioneer.
On his return to his home town of Morzine he was soon given the task of developing the ski area. His ideas of opening up the Fornet bowl and the pistes on the Hauts Fort and creating the resort of Avoriaz were backed by industrialist Gerard Bremont. His plans soon came to fruition and by the end of the 60's Avoriaz had become the go to place for the jet setting elite.
Vuarnet also created his own distinctive brand of sunglasses and in the 70's became manager of France's Alpine skiing team and vice-president of the French Ski Federation.
In 2010 Vuarnet looked on at the unveiling of a sculpture of himself outside the tourist office in Morzine, holding his famous 'egg position'.