The Aosta Valley ski instructor who created the slopes in Korea

The Olympic mission of the blue athletes in Korea, at PyeongChang, has begun and the whole Valle d’Aosta is cheering, but the Walser community of the Valle del Lys has two more reasons. At the Olympics there are also brothers Mark and Karen Chanloung, gressonari of La Trinité with double Italian-Thai passport, cross-country skiing champions. But above all, curiosity is great for David David. Historical ski instructor and former high-level champion, born in 1929, born in Gressoney-Saint-Jean, but from his marriage to Gressoney-La-Trinité, where he runs a sports shop, in the autumn of 1973 he was in Seoul, with his brother Dante. And it is also their merit if today that country hosts the Winter Olympics.


“My brother was in Korea to run a hotel – says David David – and I joined him. Together we went to a place of average mountain, very cold ». The inspection had a specific purpose: “A friend of my brother – he adds -, a rich Korean who sent his son to ski in Austria, was intent on creating ski slopes in those places not inhabited.” David David was the right man: in Gressoney he had traced the slopes of Punta Iolanda and Weissmatten. “It was not an easy job because there were many trees, but we managed to draw sketches for the creation of cross-country and downhill slopes. And the tracks were then made according to our patterns “.

Just those tracks are the same that today host the Games. «It is a great emotion to review those places – says David David – transformed thanks to our projects. When we came back to Gressoney they sent us pictures of the works started, but since they have not returned to Korea, the Olympics are an opportunity to see the results of the interventions ». David David’s memory for the ski slopes is proverbial. Even though more than 60 years have passed since his first Italian downhill title, he still accurately remembers that race and track. “The trial was held in Bardonecchia in 1953 – he says -. The final part was very steep, similar to the Weissmatten wall, while the first section reflected the tracing of the descents of those years: few turns and high speed ». After the title of Bardonecchia, he succeeded in the encore at Cortina in 1957. That year, the company that had just opened the Punta Jolanda chairlift at Gressoney-La-Trinité contacted him to organize the Ski School and to have advice on the routes of the slopes. All experiences that he later held for the position in Korea.

In the meantime Davide David married Maria Follis in 1958: Daniela and Leonardo, the blue ski champion who died on 26 February 1985, were born from the marriage due to the consequences of a fall on the track after having won 4 podiums in the World Cup at the end of the 70s A Gressoney trail bears his name.