Jean Vuarnet

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Olympic medal record
Men's alpine skiing
Competitor for  France
Gold 1960 Squaw Valley Downhill
World Championships
Bronze 1958 Badgastein Downhill

Jean Vuarnet (born January 18, 1933 in Le Bardo, Tunisia) is a former ski racer from France.


The high point of his career came in the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, where he won the gold medal in the downhill.[1] Previously, he had won bronze in the same event at the 1958 World Ski Championships in Bad Gastein.[2] After he had retired from active competition, Vuarnet became vice-president of the French skiing association from 1962 to 1971.


In the early sixties Jean Vuarnet was asked by his hometown of Morzine to help develop the skiing-area around the town. He did that by creating the purposebuild resort of Avoriaz together with a group of young architects. Around Avoriaz he developed a new area for alpine skiing later linked to other areas in France and Switzerland known as The Portes du Soleil. Jean Vuarnet's has given name to the exclusive Vuarnet sunglasses which meanwhile belong to U.K. based private equity group, Neo Investment Partners.

Personal life[edit]

In 1958, he married Edith Bonlieu, three-time French women's ski champion. His wife Édith and his youngest son Patrick were among the members of the Order of the Solar Temple cult who committed suicide in 1994.[3]


Jean Vuarnet at the International Ski Federation