FIS logo

Jean-Claude Killy, dominator of the 1960s

Hero image

7 August, 1966. At the 19th FIS World Championships in Portillo, Chile, Jean-Claude Killy was crowned downhill winner – and his status as alpine legend was set. On that day the French skier, who had already gained recognition for triumphs in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Kitzbühel, and Mürren, secured the first of six World Championship titles.

Following the speed race, Killy also won in the combined event. And this was just the start of the story. Two years later, the athlete from Saint-Cloud earned three Olympic gold medals in downhill, giant slalom, and slalom, also counting as World Championship titles. In addition, there was another victory in the combined event.

Killy was undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in Alpine Skiing during the 1960s. He won the first two editions of the FIS Ski World Cup in 1967 and 1968, achieving a total of 18 victories in this series. With these numbers, he remained the most successful Frenchman in the World Cup until 2016.

Even after retiring, Killy continued to achieve great success. Among other achievements, he served as co-president of the 1992 Winter Olympics, co-director of the Tour de France, and member of the International Olympic Committee. His recognition as France's Sportsman of the Century in 1999 attests to the significance of his accomplishments – and his lasting impact on international skiing.