The Organising Committee for the 2027 Alpine World Ski Championships in Crans-Montana will soon be able to rely on support from a well-known figure in the ski world. On 1 May 2023, Olympic champion Didier Défago will be taking over the role of CEO for these competitions, which will be held in four years' time.
Didier Défago, a well-known personality with an excellent network, is taking over the operational management of the 2027 Alpine World Ski Championships, four years before this major snow sports event. The winner of five World Cup races is familiar with the local context thanks to his Valais origins, and also because of his role as president of the Valais ski lift association (since September 2020).
The 45-year-old from Morgins is trained as a draughtsman, and was a World Cup competitor between 1996 and 2015. He also won a gold medal in the downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and a year earlier took the double in the classic downhill races in Wengen and Kitzbühel. In January 2017, he founded his own company D&D Alpin Sàrl. The Valais native worked for eight seasons in the development department for Rossignol, accompanying competitors in the European Cup. Recently, he was also commissioned by the FIS to design the new "Grand Becca" World Cup piste at the foot of the Matterhorn (Matterhorn Cervino Speed Opening). Alongside Bernhard Russi, he was also responsible for the design of the downhill course for the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.
« The challenge I’ve been given is unique, and I feel ready to take it on. The World Championships being awarded to Valais is a wonderful opportunity for Crans-Montana, and for all young ski fans in French-speaking Switzerland, as well as for Switzerland as a whole. It’s quite a challenge", says Didier Défago. "The Haut Plateau region, with its current experience in organising major events, and with my experience in the sport, should make these World Championships a wonderful festival of skiing. I would like to thank the committee for their confidence, and I’m looking forward to working with them and the various stakeholders in the project. »
Urs Lehmann, president of the Organising Committee says "Didier Défago speaks the language of the athletes. He knows the sport, he’s a team player, he comes from the canton that is hosting the World Cup and he is the president of the Valais ski lifts. We’re really pleased that we were able to convince Didier, a great and inclusive ski personality and an Olympic champion, to become the CEO of the 2027 Alpine World Ski Championships. We are convinced that as CEO of the 2027 World Ski Championships, he will be able to meet future challenges in the best possible way thanks to his network and his expertise, and that he will create, alongside his future team, the conditions needed for the success of this major and unforgettable ski event. »