Patrick Russel

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Patrick Russel
Patrick Russel c1970.jpg
Personal information
Born 22 December 1946 (1946-12-22) (age 71)
Chamonix, France
Sport Alpine skiing

Patrick Russel (born 22 December 1946) is a former French Alpine ski racer and World Cup champion. He specialized in the technical disclipines (giant slalom and slalom) and won three discipline championships in the World Cup: slalom in 1969 and 1970 and giant slalom in 1971. He also won two silver medals in slalom and combined at the 1970 World Championships at Val Gardena, Italy.


Russel was the son of Lee Russel, who was a marketing executive at the French ski manufacturer Rossignol.[1] He competed on the World Cup circuit from 1968 through 1972 and became the first male to win World Cup races in three straight years (1968–70) and in four straight years (1968–71). Overall, he won 13 World Cup races and achieved 26 podiums during his career, as well as three discipline championships (slalom in 1969 and 1970; giant slalom in 1971) and two World Championship silver medals in 1970. In 1970, he finished second overall in the World Cup (only 3 points) behind Karl Schranz, and in 1971 he was third overall behind Gustav Thöni.

In 1972, Russel broke his leg during a giant slalom in Berchtesgaden, West Germany, three weeks before the Winter Olympics and was unable to compete for the remainder of the season.[2] After the French men failed to medal during the Olympics, the French ski coach was replaced, and the new coach fired French stars Russel, Henri Duvillard and Jean-Noël Augert from the World Cup team at the start of 1973.[3] It has been suggested that a conflict between the two alpine cultures (alpine and urban) provoked by Bozon and Rossignol caused the firings, the three racers involved being encouraged to not take both training and races seriously just before they were fired. The coaches themselves resigned. Bozon got what he wanted and in the process destroyed the French ski team for years thereafter. All three skiers then turned professional and competed in the United States until their retirements.[3]

After his retirement from competition, Russel became a ski instructor in France at Les Arcs.[4]

World Cup victories[edit]

Season titles[edit]

Season Discipline
1969 Slalom
1970 Slalom
1971 Giant slalom

Individual victories[edit]

13 total wins (9 slalom, 4 giant slalom)

Date Location Race
25 February 1968 Norway Oslo Slalom
1 March 1968 Slovenia Kranjska Gora Slalom
19 January 1969 Austria Kitzbühel Slalom
9 February 1969 Sweden Åre Slalom
20 December 1969 Austria Lienz Giant slalom
11 January 1970 Switzerland Wengen Slalom
18 January 1970 Austria Kitzbühel Slalom
25 February 1970 France Megève Slalom
8 March 1970 United States Heavenly Valley Giant slalom
15 March 1970 Norway Voss Slalom
17 December 1970 France Val-d'Isère Giant slalom
18 January 1971 Switzerland Adelboden Giant slalom
14 February 1971 Canada Mont St. Anne Slalom


  1. ^ Seth Massia (December 2007). Rossignol Turns 100. Skiing Heritage Journal. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ouch". St. Petersburg Times. 11 January 1972. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
  3. ^ a b William Oscar Johnson (12 April 1976). "The King of the Mountain". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Top Schools on the Slopes". New York Times. 7 November 1982. Retrieved 6 April 2010. 

External links[edit]