Renée Féraud-Colliard passed away shortly before the Christmas holidays. Originally from Geneva, she lived in Crans-Montana and was the first Swiss Olympic slalom champion.
Swiss skiing has lost one of its very first champions. Renée Féraud-Colliard died in December, shortly before her 89th birthday. Although she was originally from Geneva, she had settled in Crans-Montana and was the first Swiss Olympic slalom champion, winning gold at the 1956 Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo.
« I had bib number 1, and at the moment I started, the cameras weren’t ready. When I got to the bottom, they said: 'Do the same thing again in the second race'. So I went back up and I finished with the best time again », she recalled in a column in the Tribune de Genève newspaper. « But this time, the Italian actress Sophia Loren appeared in the stands. So the camera focused on her instead of me. So today there are a few short pieces of film of my win, but in fact someone else was skiing in my place. »
She will go down in history as one of only two Swiss female skiers to win gold at the Olympic Games in the slalom, almost three decades ahead of Vreni Schneider, who triumphed in the short turns in Calgary (1988) and Lillehammer (1994).
In Crans-Montana, Renée Féraud-Colliard opened her own pharmacy, and was the mother of Nicolas Féraud, the current ACCM and municipality Crans-Montana president, as also vice-president of the Ski World Championships 2027. The former champion was also a member of the Panathlon.