Carole Merle

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— Alpine skier —
Disciplines Super-G, Giant slalom
Downhill, Combined
Born (1964-01-24) 24 January 1964 (age 53)
Le Sauze, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France
Retired 1994
Olympics
Teams 4 - (1984, 1988, 1992, 1994)
Medals 1
World Championships
Teams 4 - (1987, 1989, 1991, 1993)
Medals 3 (1 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 13 - (19821994)
Wins 22 - (12 SG, 10 GS)
Overall titles 0 - (2nd in 1992, 3rd in 1993)
Discipline titles 6 - (4 SG, 2 GS)

Carole Merle (French pronunciation: ​[ka.ʁɔl mɛʁl] ; born 24 January 1964) is a former French Alpine skier. A specialist of Giant Slalom and Super-G, she won 22 World Cup races, 6 World Cup season titles and 1 World Championship gold medal.

Skiing career[edit]

A native of Le Sauze, a ski resort of Enchastrayes commune where her parents ran a hotel, Merle learned to ski at a very young age. She took part in her first competition as a six-year-old, and made her World Cup debut at 18. On 23 January 1983, she took her first World Cup podium with a third-place finish in Giant Slalom at St. Gervais. But it took another few years for her to reach her full potential.[1]

Her first World Cup win came on 6 January 1988 at Tignes. The following season saw her bag the World cup title in Super-G, finishing 4 points ahead of 1988 Olympic champion Sigrid Wolf. Merle went on to win the Super-G season title 4 years in a row (1989–1992), a feat only equalled in later years by Katja Seizinger of Germany (1993–1996) and Lindsey Vonn of the USA (2009–2012). In addition, Merle won the Giant Slalom World Cup in 1992 and 1993. These two same years, she finished 2nd (behind Austria's Petra Kronberger) and 3rd in the World Cup overall standings.[1]

At the 1989 World Championships in Vail she won a silver medal in the Giant Slalom, two years later at the 1991 World Championships in Saalbach she won another medal and at the 1993 World Championships in Morioka she finally won the gold medal in the Giant Slalom. At the 1992 Olympics in Albertville she won a silver medal in the Super-G event.

Later life[edit]

Merle retired at the end of the 1994 ski season. During her career, she had earnings of more than 20 million French francs, which an uncle was managing on her behalf. In 1997, she made headlines when she publicly announced she had lost everything and had accumulated more than 70 million in debts, accusing her uncle of mismanaging her fortune.[2]

She later settled away from the ski slopes, in a Camargue farmhouse, to pursue her passion for horses. In a 2012 interview for French newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré, she claimed she had not skied for at least six years, but added she would never miss a ski World Cup on TV.[3]

World Cup results[edit]

Season standings[edit]

  • 6 titles – (4 SG, 2 GS)
Season Age Overall Super-G Giant
slalom
Downhill Combine
1982 18 71 - 38 - 26
1983 19 38 - 14 31 -
1984 20 28 - 10 - 24
1985 21 58 - 27 - -
1986 22 40 31 12 28 -
1987 23 60 - 23 - -
1988 24 19 - 6 24 -
1989 25 4 1 6 4 10
1990 26 5 1 7 10 -
1991 27 5 1 17 4 -
1992 28 2 1 1 8 -
1993 29 3 3 1 7 -
1994 30 20 24 8 53 -

Race victories[edit]

  • 22 wins – (12 SG, 10 GS)
  • 44 podiums, 88 top tens
Season Date Location Race
1988 6 January 1988 France Tignes, France Giant Slalom
1989 26 November 1988 Austria Schladming, Austria Super-G
14 January 1989  Switzerland  Grindelwald, Switzerland Super-G
20 January 1989 France Tignes, France Super-G
1990 10 February 1990 France Méribel, France Super-G
11 February 1990 Super-G
10 March 1990 Norway Stranda, Norway Giant Slalom
14 March 1990 Sweden Klövsjö, Sweden Giant Slalom
16 March 1990 Sweden Åre, Sweden Super-G
1991 9 February 1991 Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Super-G
24 February 1991 Japan Furano, Japan Super-G
1992 15 December 1991 Italy Santa Caterina, Italy Super-G
15 January 1992 Austria Hinterstoder, Austria Giant Slalom
20 January 1992 Italy Piancavallo, Italie Giant Slalom
27 January 1992 France Morzine, France Giant Slalom
15 March 1992 Canada Panorama, Canada Super-G
19 March 1992  Switzerland  Crans-Montana, Switzerland Super-G
21 March 1992 Giant Slalom
1993 5 January 1993 Slovenia Maribor, Slovenia Giant Slalom
10 January 1993 Italy Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italie Giant Slalom
28 February 1993  Switzerland  Veysonnaz, Switzerland Super-G
27 March 1993 Sweden Åre,Sweden Giant Slalom

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Que devient l'ancienne skieuse Carole Merle ?". Télé Loisirs (in French). 5 December 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Froissart, Lionel (18 December 1997). "Après l'or, Carole Merle en panne d'argent". Libération (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  3. ^ Gabai, Gabriel (8 February 2012). "Merle, grandeur nature". Le Dauphiné libéré (in French). Retrieved 9 March 2016. 

External links[edit]