SWISS ALPINE SKI
The Swiss Alpine Ski National Team is one of the superpowers of the world skiing scene, traditionally demonstrating its great strength and depth in Olympic Games, World Championships and World Cup events. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons for the team’s success has been its extensive application of good science. From extensive wind tunnel testing of racing suits and equipment, to 3D body scanning of its athletes in collaboration with Armasuisse (the Swiss army), to devising training methods to turn out superior athletes, the approach has been highly academic, and has set the team firmly on track for ongoing success. Descente first signed a contract to supply the Swiss team in 1978, and in the almost 40 years since has worked tirelessly with the team to develop racing suits that help them challenge the limits of speed. So much so that the extent to which Descente’s history of technical development is reflected in this partnership cannot be overstated. We hope it will last well into the future, and that Descente continues working with Swiss–Ski to improve skiers’ performance, levels of comfort and safety with our innovative, unique pattern cutting and fabric development technologies.
One of the strongest images of Switzerland is of the Alps and snow, and it is world renowned as a skiing destination. It is natural, therefore, that skiing is one of Switzerland’s most popular sports and that this small nation has one of the world’s strongest elite teams.
Believed to have originated in Norway, skiing spread through Europe as a recreational activity and sport from the late 1800s. The Swiss Ski Federation was founded in 1904. With a natural pool of talented young skiers, Switzerland became a powerhouse of Alpine skiing in the 20th century.
Switzerland’s first Olympic Gold medals were in Men’s Slalom and Women’s Downhill at the 1948 Games in St Moritz. Since then Swiss Winter Olympians have won a total of 59 medals in Alpine events – 20 of them Gold. This ranks them second only to Austria.
In the 1980s Switzerland dominated the World Cup circuit. In 1984, at the Sarajevo Games, Michela Figini became the youngest ever downhill Gold medallist at the age of 17. . At the 1987 Crans Montana World Championships, Swiss athletes captured 8 of the 10 events, and at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary took home 3 Gold, 4 Silver and 4 Broze medals.
More recently, Dominique Gisin and Sandro Viletta won Gold at the 2014 Sochi Games and Lara Gut won the Overall Women’s Cup in the 2015/16 FIS World Cup season.
Swiss-Ski supports all aspects of skiing in Switzerland – from the elite national teams to the regional and junior organisations – with a dedicated staff of coaches and administrators.