“When I see today's skiing, I tell myself that it's made for me!
A historic figure in French skiing, seven-time world champion Marielle Goitschel casts her gaze on current alpine skiing, with the Courchevel-Méribel World Championships starting on Monday.
With eleven world medals, the 77-year-old ex-skier shares the post-war women's record with Sweden's Anja Pärson and American star Mikaela Shiffrin, close to becoming the most successful skier in the World Cup, all genders combined.
“We have to stop saying the record, the greatest of all time, is zero.
To compare you need the same plan, ”says Goitschel from her home in Anglet (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), proud to be the most medal-winning Frenchwoman at the Worlds (men and women combined) with in particular seven titles between 1962 and 1968.
“The ones I like are the best.
I love Petra Vlhova, I like Mikaela Shiffrin, she's the only one who comes close to my medal count.
I like the Italian team with Sofia Goggia,
a little stopper
She's not tall, but she has a unique way of using the terrain, she sweats skiing”.
She dubs the Olympic slalom champion Clément Noël
“They are fighters, girls who do not accept the idea of losing, she notes.
Sometimes I hear things,
Oh beautiful 10th place
, but no!
Those who say that will never succeed.
When I was second, I was mortified, unless it was behind my sister Christine.
On the French team - "I don't know the composition of the women's team apart from Romane Miradoli and Tessa Worley" - Goitschel dubs the Olympic slalom champion Clément Noël.
“He comes from the Vosges, like my mother, and from the Val-d'Isère ski club, like Killy and us the Goitschels.
His style is marvellous.
It's the most beautiful touch of skiing, but he has to solve his head problems, he said it, how come he goes out so much?
Always attentive to the news of her sport, she only watches the major competitions live, broadcast on free channels, like her new passion: “I'm going to surprise you, I'm watching biathlon.
I know everything by heart, Jacquelin, Simon, the wonderful little Jeanmonnot.
I'm a complete fan, ”she says.
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Back in the alpine, she says that “today's skiing, I tell myself that it's made for me.
In super-G (Editor's note: created after his career) I would not have left a single medal!
And in slalom, so there, untouchable.
Shiffrin, I would put her in the wind with my fingers in my nose”.
In sixty years, things have indeed changed, for her who knew the wooden stakes.
“I touched them all.
I damaged myself terribly, which earned me operations on both shoulders, elbows and knees.
We were not protected, we ran in ski pants and sweaters, she describes.
They put sanitary napkins on my arms for the blows I gave to the stakes, which caused me terrible necrosis.
We were few to ski like the boys.
Besides, I would point out to you that at the time in slalom training, I beat the boys.
Titled at the Olympic Games in 1964 in Innsbruck (giant) and in 1968 in Grenoble (slalom), Goitschel belongs to the golden generation of French skiing with her sister Christine, Jean-Claude Killy, Guy Périllat, Annie Famose and Isabelle Mir, stars of their time.
"These Worlds, nobody seems to know"
“The French football team sucked, we had the Grenoble Olympics, we won all the time, we raided the Portillo Worlds (Chile, 1966) in the middle of August, people were reading us in L'Équipe sur la plage, skiing had become the favorite sport of the French, it was incredible.
While these 2023 Worlds, no one seems to be aware, ”she regrets.
Between a trip aboard his MGB with Claude François ("he was a complete fan of the Goitschel sisters"), his political commitment to Charles de Gaulle and a meeting with Audrey Hepburn, this "cheeky" young woman fought against "injustice to obtain premiums equivalent to those of men.
With her former teammates, whom she has remained close to, Marielle Goitschel is invited to the Worlds and should go to the start of the female giant.
The opportunity to meet Mikaela Shiffrin there.