Dominique Mouflier, daughter of Jacques Mouflier, tells us so well what her father initiated in Val d'Isère.
The introduction to her father's book, "Birth of an Olympic Village", fully reflects what we wish to present to you here. Read it instead.
"To explore the history of a small mountain village that has already been thrust upon the international stage, to look back at its early history while it’s future is brighter than ever, seems a retrogressive step."
And yet, when one looks closely at an old photograph of this tiny village of Val d'Isère, huddled around its church steeple and buried under a blanket of snow, the impression of isolation that one feels begs the question.
Whatever were they searching, those people in the first 20 years of the history of this resort ? They followed the narrow road up the Haute Tarentaise to found, at the end of a journey that was at times perillous, this village at the end of the world bathed in a dazzling light.
How many of them in that era could foresee that skiing, this sport appreciated only by those who could do it, would 40 years later become a major source of relaxation for so many people.
One summer evening during my childhood, my father and I were walking , at the end of the day, near the little chapel of St-Jean at the bottom of Solaise. My head, at that time, was barely higher than the flowering grasses before the hay harvest.
Suddenly, he stopped, took my hand, and looking at the seemingly unclimbable peaks of the surrounding mountains, he leant towards me as if to tell a secret and said : ‘How beautiful this countryside is ! Just look at the way the slopes of Bellevarde roll down towards us. When you get to be a little bit bigger, a miracle is going to happen : five minutes, and whoosh ! You’re going to be way up there. You’ll come straight down again – and then, whoosh ! Up you go again ! You yourself will ski down all these mountains, and skiers from all over the world will join you !"
Gesticulating wildly as he spoke, he simulated the pilot’s flight up to the peaks that surrounded us. "Ski champions from every country will come to complete here, where we’re standing right now."
I gazed at the the serene slopes where a pastoral calm reigned and at the mountain tops silhouetted against the gathering twilight and I felt worried.
My father was clearly losing his mind !
And yet ...He seemed so convinced of the reality of these impossible stories that, without realising it, I was immediately won over by his enthusiasm. It was in 1935. »
1888 The first hotel opens in Val d’Isère
1932 Opening of the Ski school
1934 Opening of the first lift : Le Rogoney
1937 Opening of the road up the Col de l’Iseran
1955 Launch of the first Critérium de la 1ère Neige
1963 Creation of the Vanoise National Park
1968 J-C Killy and the Goitschel sisters shine at the Grenoble Olympics
1992 Men’s downhill in the Albertville Olympic takes place on the Face de Bellevarde.
2009 Alpine Skiing World Championships