Valle di Gressoney

Gressoney, the Champions Valley

From the birth of winter sports to today

By: Gressoney Monterosa

De Fabiani, Laurent e Pellegrino

The Gressoney Valley is considered by many to be the valley of champions. Since the birth of winter sports so numerous have been the Gressoney athletes who have reached world summits in their respective disciplines. To this we must also add the presence in the national teams of numerous technicians, coaches, skimans and trainers. At the recent Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as many as 11 Gressonarians were present, a true record for a community of about a thousand inhabitants.

From the glorious days of Davide David, twice Italian downhill champion in the 1950s, through the athletes of the Valanga Azzurra and the Valanga Rosa, Franco and Wanda Bieler, to the victories of the young Leonardo David in the World Cup, we arrive in more recent times at Arianna Follis's world title in cross-country skiing and the current athletes of the national team, again for cross-country skiing, Greta Laurent, Francesco De Fabiani and the Gressonese acquired Federico Pellegrino.

Not only winter sports, in the world of ultra trail, Gressonese Franco Collé is the undisputed protagonist of the Tor des Géants, a 330-kilometer race with 24,000 meters of positive elevation gain that crosses the entire Aosta Valley.

New generations are carrying on this sporting tradition, Alice Calaba, Tatum Bieler and Nadine Laurent are the new Gressoney promises of winter sports.

 

Alpine ski

Davide David former blue speed specialist, Italian downhill champion in 1953 and 1957.

Founder of the Gressoney Monterosa ski club.

Sergio Filippa Davide David apprentice, after a few victories in national qualifying races amazed everyone by taking home the victory in the giant slalom in San Martino di Castrozza on March 5, 1970 placing first ahead of Gustav Thoeni and Giuseppe Compagnoni.

Franco Bieler was part together with Gustav Thoeni, Piero Gros and other athletes of the blue avalanche that dominated alpine skiing in the 1970s. He first placed in 73 in Sankt Anton in the downhill and in the European Cup.

In 76 he won his first World Cup podium in giant slalom, in the same season he participated in the XII Olympic Games in Innsbruck finishing eighth in giant slalom. In the 76-77 season he gets two more World Cup podiums both in special slalom. Third place in Kitzbuhel and second place in Are. In 78 ninth place in the special slalom in Wengen.

Wanda Bieler in 76 gets a fifth place in World Cup in Bad Gastein in downhill and an 'eighth place in special slalom. In 77 she is gold medalist at the junior Europeans in Kranjska Gora in special slalom. He participates in the 13th Olympic Games in Lake Placid in 1980. He gets a third place in Aspen in 81 in giant slalom and a bronze at the '83 Italian championships.
 

Leonardo David at the Italian championships in 77 won the silver medal in combined and the bronze medal in downhill, also in the same season bronze in giant slalom at the junior Europeans in Kranjska Gora, won the European cup in the 77-78 season. In 78 in the world cup in Schladming he was third and in Oslo in 79 a fantastic first place ahead of Stenmark and Mahre.

Fulvia Stevenin in 82 and 84 12th place in world cup, first in special slalom then in giant slalom, gold at junior championships in Sestriere in 83 in special slalom. She participated in the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. Third in European Cup in 85/86 season in giant slalom, gold at Italian championships in '87 also in giant slalom and bronze in super giant.

Sovrana Welf fast trials specialist makes her World Cup debut in 95 in Flachau in super giant. She participated in the world championships in Sierra Nevada in 1996. In downhill in the 96-97 season he achieved his best World Cup placings and took the podium in the European Cup in Sankt Moritz.

Simon Viquery pure slalom racer debuts in european cup in 95 in Champoluc and in world cup in 96 in Madonna di Campiglio. Five European Cup podiums, the first in Donnersbachwald in 97 and the last in Bardonecchia in 98. Participates in the world cup in Ofterschwane.

Annalisa Ceresa she made her European Cup debut in 95 in the downhill in Altenmarkt, competed in the junior world championships in Schladming in 97 and then made her World Cup debut in the special slalom in Val d'Isère. In 98 she became Italian combined champion, and in 2003 she took first place in the European Cup at Passo del Tonale and competed at the subsequent world championships in Sankt Moritz. She achieves seventh place in the world cup in the special slalom in Levi in 2004. He participates in the world championships in Bormio in 2005 and in the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy; this season he also gets his best results in the european cup, first place in the special slalom and second in the super combined. He participated in the world championships in Are in 2007 and Semmering in 2008.

Tomas Busca ski cross world cup athlete for the army sports center from 2006 to 2009.

He is fifth in Zweisimmen in 2007 and gets his best results in Sierra Nevada taking the podium with a second and a third place. 

His last race in Gopshusbacken in 2009 where he placed 18th.

Alice Calaba originally from Gaby class of 2002 made her European Cup debut in 2020 in downhill, later in 2023 she won the bronze medal at the junior world championships in Sankt Anton in super giant.

 

Nordic ski

Agostino Filippa debuted in 97 with a first-place finish in an FIS race in Feutersoey and also participated in his first world cup in Oslo that year. After a third place in the continental cup in Primiero, he participated in Ramsau in 99 in his first world championship. Fourth place in Brunico in 2001 and podium in Vermiglio Passo Tonale in 2002 in 2 FIS races. After excellent placings in military competitions she will compete in her last race, a marathon cup, in Livigno in 2004.

Arianna Follis made her World Cup debut in 95, the first major race that earned her World Cup points being the Lamoura/Mouthe transjurasienne. He participated in the 2001 world championships in Lathi and earned his first world cup podium in Davos in the 4x5 relay. Seventh place at the 2003 world championships in Val di Fiemme and bronze at the 2005 world championships in Obertdorf, also in the 4x5 relay. Participates in the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, contributing a third place in the relay. After the Olympics comes her first cup win in the sprint in Borlange, another sprint win in Ribynsk and then bronze in Sapporo in the 10km. She finished third in the second Tour de Ski and won the Prague sprint in 2007. During the 2008-2009 season she wins the Whistler team sprint and 2 stages of the Tour de Ski finishing second in the World Cup standings in 2009. He won the rainbow title in the individual free technique sprint at the world championships in Liberec. In Oslo in 2011 he wins silver in the individual sprint race. She closes her career in third place overall and second place in the sprint.

Greta Laurent silver at the Italian championships in the sprint in 2013, then participates in the world championships in Val di Fiemme. In 2014 she finishes 36th in the sprint world cup rankings and participates in the Olympic Games in Soci. In 2015 she is at the world championships in Falun, Sweden, while in 2017 she passes the world cup qualifier in Lathi, Finland. In 2008 she finishes ninth in the world cup in Seefeld in Tirol in the free technique sprint. She participated in the Pyeongchang Olympics in 2018 and then again in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics placing 28th in the sprint.

Francesco De Fabiani made his debut at the junior world championships in Otepaa in 2011 and took part in his first world cup race in 2013 in Oberhof. He participated in the Olympic Games in Soci in 2014 by placing 21st in the pursuit and then at the world championships in Falun in 2015 by placing sixth in the relay. His first podium finish came in Lathi in the 15km classic technique also in the same year. In 2017 in Lathi he was eighth in the relay while in 2018 in Pyeongchang he finished seventh. At the World Championships in Seefeld he is bronze in the team sprint, eighth in the sprint and 10th in the relay. In Oberstdorf in 2021 he gets a fifth place in the team sprint. In Beijing in 2022 he is eighth in the pursuit, sixth in the team sprint and eighth in the relay. At the World Championships in Planica comes silver in the team sprint and ninth in the relay.

Nadine Laurent who grew up in the ranks of Monte Rosa Ski Club participates in the junior world championships in Vuokatti in 2021 and Zakopane/Lygnasaeter in 2022 always improving her results, fourth place in the sprint and eighth place in the relay. At Whistler in 2023 she won the bronze medal in the mixed relay twenty-second in the 20km, twelfth in the 20km and fourth in the sprint. At the World Championships in Planica 2023 she placed twenty-ninth in the sprint.

Trail Running

Franco Collé athlete specialist in ultra trails participates in his first Tor des Géants in 2012 coming in fifth place, since then he has been a protagonist in more and more important races also at the international level always placing among the top three. He won four editions of the Tor des Géants 2014, 2018, 2021 and in the last edition 2023, in addition to the title as winner, he set a new record by running the 330 km of the course in 66 hours and 39 minutes.

Giuditta Turini made her debut in 2017 coming second in the first edition of Tot Dret, in 2020 she won the Italian championships of the ultra Trail Lago d'Orta circuit. From here an all uphill sports career that will lead her to earn a 'gold and bronze at the skyrunning world championships, two bronzes at the trail world championships and again 2 golds at the Italian long trail championships.

 

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