Cuche in February 2011
|Full name||Didier Cuche|
August 16, 1974 |
Le Pâquier, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Seasons||1993 – 2012|
|Updated on 25 February 2012.|
Didier Cuche (born August 16, 1974) is former World Cup alpine ski racer from Switzerland. Born in Le Pâquier, Neuchâtel, he competed in the downhill and Super G, along with the giant slalom. He won the World Cup downhill and Super-G title for the 2011 season and has won three previous downhill titles in 2010, 2008 and 2007, along with a giant slalom title in 2009. Cuche has 21 World Cup race victories, along with 67 podiums (top three) and 181 top ten finishes. He is also an Olympic silver medalist and has won a total of four World Championships medals (a gold, two silvers, and a bronze). He retired from competition following the 2012 season.
At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, Cuche was the silver medalist in the Super G, where he had exactly the same time as Hans Knauss resulting in a rare sharing of the medal (no bronze medal was awarded).
During the 2007 season, Cuche was in top form, winning the downhill season title with a victory and four second place finishes. In the Bormio downhill on December 28, 2006, he finished second, 0.01 seconds behind winner Michael Walchhofer, the smallest measurable amount in ski racing.
Cuche repeated as the World Cup downhill season champion in 2008 with 584 points, five ahead of overall champion Bode Miller. Cuche finished third overall and nearly won the Super-G season title, finishing a single point behind champion Hannes Reichelt.
A week after winning the Super-G and downhill at Kitzbühel in 2010, Cuche broke his right thumb in the giant slalom at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia on January 29, two weeks before the 2010 Winter Olympics. The injury put Cuche's Olympic participation in doubt, and he was immediately flown to Switzerland. After successful thumb surgery, he was cleared to compete in the Olympics in Canada. Cuche had a disappointing Olympics and did not win any medal; however, he regained the title of World Cup downhill champion for the 2010 season at the first post-Olympic race. Cuche won the downhill on the challenging Olympiabakken course at Kvitfjell, Norway, on March 6 for his fifth World Cup victory of the season. Until 2010, Cuche had never won more than two World Cup events in a single season.
On January 22, 2011, Cuche became the oldest race winner in the history of the World Cup, winning the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel at the age of 36 years, 159 days. It was also his fourth downhill victory in Kitzbühel, which tied him with Franz Klammer for the record on the Hahnenkamm, which is generally considered the most difficult and dangerous of all downhill courses. He has since added a fifth victory in Kitzbühel to his tally, thus becoming the sole record holder; Klammer was there to congratulate him at the finish.
At the 2011 World Championships in February, he won the silver medal in the downhill. In March he won the World Cup downhill championship for the 2011 season. This marked the fourth time he captured the season title (2011, 2010, 2008, 2007), a record only surpassed by Franz Klammer who won the title five times. He ended the 2011 World Cup season in first place ranking in Downhill and Super-G, finishing second in the Overall rankings to Ivica Kostelić.
After considerable speculation as to whether Cuche might instead retire, he opened the 2012 World Cup season by winning the downhill race at Lake Louise, Canada, further extending the age record he had last broken at 36 years, 209 days in a Super-G at Kvitfjell in March 2011. That record was extended yet again at Kitzbühel in January 2012 to 37 years, 158 days.
On January 19, 2012, Cuche announced his retirement for the end of the 2012 season. He gave his retirement speech in Kitzbühel during which he stated that he wanted to “leave the World Cup stage on a high”. Only two days later, Cuche won the Hahnenkamm race in Kitzbühel for the fifth time in his career, including his very first World Cup win in 1998. The following week, Cuche won the downhill at Garmisch, Germany, for his twentieth World Cup victory.
Besides his remarkable durability and his broad popularity, Cuche is well known for a post-race signature move in which he kicks out of, spins and catches one of his skis in a quick, fluid motion - and perhaps giving it a ceremonial kiss.
Cuche won the Swiss Sports Personality of the Year in 2009 and 2011. In January 2012 during the "Swiss Awards" he won the Swiss Person of the Year award in 2011.
World Cup results
|1998||23 Jan 1998||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|2002||5 Jan 2002||Adelboden, Switzerland||Giant Slalom|
|7 Mar 2002||Altenmarkt, Austria||Super-G|
|2003||8 Dec 2002||Beaver Creek, USA||Super-G|
|2004||30 Jan 2004||Garmisch, Germany||Downhill|
|2007||10 Mar 2007||Kvitfjell, Norway||Downhill|
|2008||14 Dec 2007||Val Gardena, Italy||Super-G|
|19 Jan 2008||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|21 Feb 2009||Sestriere, Italy||Giant Slalom|
|2010||25 Oct 2009||Sölden, Austria||Giant Slalom|
|28 Nov 2009||Lake Louise, Canada||Downhill|
|22 Jan 2010||Kitzbühel, Austria||Super-G|
|23 Jan 2010||Downhill|
|6 Mar 2010||Kvitfjell, Norway||Downhill|
|2011||22 Jan 2011||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|29 Jan 2011||Chamonix, France||Downhill|
|13 Mar 2011||Kvitfjell, Norway||Super-G|
|2012||26 Nov 2011||Lake Louise, Canada||Downhill|
|21 Jan 2012||Kitzbühel, Austria||Downhill|
|28 Jan 2012||Garmisch, Germany||Downhill|
|24 Feb 2012||Crans-Montana, Switzerland||Super-G|
- Ski-db.com – results – Didier Cuche – accessed 2011-03-17
- sportsillustrated.cnn.com – 2010-01-29
- abcnews.go.com – 9710341
- "Triumphant Didier Cuche sets age mark". ESPN.com (ESPN). Associated Press. 22 January 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "Didier Cuche wins record fifth Hahnenkamm World Cup". BBC Sport. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Didier Cuche wins at Lake Louise". ESPN.com (ESPN). Associated Press. 26 November 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Cuche to quit". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 19 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- McMillan, Kelley (19 January 2012). "Swiss Downhill Star Cuche Announces Retirement". New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Didier Cuche at the International Ski Federation
- FIS-ski.com – World Cup season standings – Didier Cuche - 1996–2012
- Ski-db.com - results - Didier Cuche
- Sports Reference.com - Olympic results - Didier Cuche
- Didier Cuche.ch – personal site - (French)
- Swiss Ski team - official site - (German)
- Head Skis - teams - Didier Cuche
|Awards and achievements|
|Swiss Sportsman of the Year