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God-father of ski celebrates his 100th birthday

Émile Allais

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Robin Deering | Courchevel Editor | Published: 25 Feb 2012


God-father of ski celebrates his 100th birthday

Émile Allais creator of the French ski school, Olympic medal winner, creator of cutting edge skis, advisor to ski resorts, pisteur and freerider is 100 years old today.

Living legend Émile Allais blows out his 100 candles today

Born in Megeve on the 25th February 1912, Émile took to the snow like a duck to water - by the age of 25 he had achieved a triple world champion status - descent, slalom and combined.
After a stint doing military service with the chasseurs alpins and  trips to Austria, Émile developed the official French ski method and worked to create the École Nationale du Ski Français now known as the ENSA.

After battling in the Second World War Émile sought new horizons, arriving in America he helped develop a number of new ski resorts such as Portillo, Squaw Valley and Sun Valley. Émile took away with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of modern ski resorts.
On his return to France Émile's first stop was Courchevel where he introduced piste grooming and piste security to the then 'new & up-coming' resort.
Following on in the 60's he worked with local developers as a technical consultant for resorts such as La Plagne and Flaine.

He was also known for having worked closely with Rossignol to develop the eponymous Allais 60 skis - the first metal edged production skis.

Needless to say today's world of skiing owes a lot to this centenarian - happy birthday Émile Allais.