Goitschel, Christine and Marielle

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Goitschel, Christine and Marielle

French Alpine skiers .

Goitschel, Christine (1944—). Born in June 1944; lived in Val d'Isère.

Winner of an Olympic gold medal in the slalom and a silver in the giant slalom (1964).

Goitschel, Marielle (1945—). Born in Ste. Maxime, France, on September 28, 1945; lived in Val d'Isère.

Won the silver medal in the Women's slalom and a gold medal in the giant slalom at the Winter Olympics in Innsbruck (1964); won the gold medal in the Women's slalom in the Winter Olympics at Grenoble (1968); won the World championship in the giant slalom (1966) and the combined (1962, 1964, and 1966); won the World Cup for the downhill (1967) and slalom (1967, 1968).

Marielle and her sister Christine Goitschel, who was 15 months older, were both world-class skiers from Val d'Isère, home of super-Olympian Jean-Claude Killy. Marielle was only 16 when she won her first world title in the combined in 1962. In 1962, 1964, and 1966, she won the world championship. When the Olympic Winter Games were held in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1964, Christine and Marielle were great rivals, though Marielle was favored. But Christine surprised everyone by winning the slalom with a combined time of 1:29.86, almost a second in front of Marielle at 1:30.77. Jean Saubert of the U.S. placed third with 1:31.36. That same day back in France, Patricia Goitschel , another sister, won a national junior title.

Two days later, when Marielle stood at the starting line for the giant slalom, Christine and Saubert were tied for the lead at 1:53.11. Fourteenth on the course, Marielle flew down the slopes and took the lead at 1:52.24 and became the youngest athlete to win a gold medal. Christine took the silver, while Saubert again won the bronze. Following her victory, Marielle announced to a gullible press that she had just become engaged to the shy Killy, a practical joke planned by the sisters the previous evening.

In the 1968 Olympics at Grenoble, Christine did not compete, but Marielle did not disappoint, winning a gold medal in the slalom with a combined time of 1:25.86. Nancy Greene of Canada came in second; Annie Famose of France finished third.

Karin Loewen Haag , Athens, Georgia