If you have ever been to Val Thorens you would have most likely come across the name Goitschel. There are shops named Goitschel, pistes named Goitschel and Ski rental shops named Goitschel. So who is this Goitschel?
Way back in 1964 Christine and Marielle Goitschel who are from ‘around these parts’ took the Innsbruck Winter Olympics by storm as the first ever female siblings to get on an Olympics podium at the same time.
Marielle won Silver in the Slalom whilst her older sister winning Gold in the same event.
Only 2 days later they did it again! This time in the Giant Slalom but the order was the other way around with Marielle taking the Gold medal and Christine the Silver. That should stop the arguments later on in the Goitschel family home!
Christine married Jean Béranger who was her ski coach in 1966 and were part of the team that created Val Thorens.
In 2008 Marielle was honoured with the ‘Knight of the legion of honour’ and her sister also in 2009.
The “Legion of Honour” (Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur) was started up by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, it is fairly similar to the British “Knighthood”, “MBE” and “OBE” honours. There are five versions of the Legion of Honour:
- Knight (Chevalier in French)
- Officer (Officier)
- Commander (Commandeur)
- Grand Officer (Grand Officier)
- Grand Cross (Grand Croix)
50 years on and the powers that be in France has promoted the Goitschel sisters to the Officer level of the Legion of Honours. This is great news for the sisters and the Val Thorens region.
Val Thorens will be also celebrating the news with an event this season.