Jean-Baptiste Grange, world slalom champion in 2011 and 2015, will retire at the end of the season after 15 years in the French teams.
After Julien Lizeroux (41) who retired on January 26, Jean-Baptiste Grange (36) is preparing to experience his last emotions at the highest level. The French Federation has, in a statement, announced that the skier from Valloire will end his career at the end of the season.
He will leave the slopes with a rich record of achievements in which shine two world slalom championship titles in 2011 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and 2015 in Beaver Creek, as well as 18 World Cup podiums including 9 victories (8 slaloms and 1 combined) : Alta Badia in 2007, Wengen (slalom and combined), Kitzbühel and Levi in 2008, Zagreb in 2009, Levi in 2010, Kitzbühel and Schladming in 2011), the crystal globe of Slalom in 2009 and nearly 200 starts in the Coupe du world. Only the Olympic Games (3 participations, no medals) have never smiled on him.
Jean-Baptiste Grange had timidly advanced to the front of the stage with a bronze medal at the World Championships in Are in 2007. Incredulous, he said: “Incredible … Fantastic … I got there. It’s a little inaccessible thing that I manage to have … A few hours ago, I had done nothing and … I may be lacking in self-confidence. I was told repeatedly that I had the ski to do it but I was missing little things. I managed to make it happen on D-Day and above all I proved to myself that it was possible. ”
After this click, the White Circus quickly followed with passion this talent which, in January 2008, had signed a double (super-combined then slalom) in Wengen. The last double blue stroke engraved in Wengen dated from 1967. Signed by Jean-Claude Killy… Enough to imagine a glorious sequel. His parents defended the colors of the France team. His brother François-Cyril gave his hand to Michel Platini when lighting the Olympic cauldron after the unforgettable parade of Philippe Decouflé during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Albertville, in 1992. Him, feet of fire and crystalline technique took off after back problems in adolescence. His flamboyant style, his instinctive skiing will have illuminated long blue winters. Before deciding to plant the last doors. Jean-Baptiste Grange, who did not finish the race at the Cortina d’Ampezzo Worlds two weeks ago, must line up for the last two races of the season in Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) next week and in Lenzerheide (Switzerland) on March 21.
“It was an incredible adventure, started at a young age in my village of Valloire, set on the track by a family of skiers on whom I have been able to rely since, always with dedication and discretion”, writes the skier also on his Instagram account. “I dedicated my life to this sport, in detail, and it gave it back to me, giving me unforgettable moments! I feel ready today to move on, dad of a 6 month old little girl, animated by future challenges! With a sense of pride in having given myself the means to fully experience my sport and the happiness of having experienced much more than that! ” He saw Alexis Pinturault and Clément Noël grow and flourish. The tricolor slalom will still be talked about.