Passing of Gaetano Coppi and Dimitris Pappos
Gaetano Coppi, former FISI President and FIS Council Member recently passed away at the age of 76 years.
Born in the town of Abetone on 25th September 1937, he has grown up in the local ski club before becoming an Alpine racer for the Italian National Team specialising in downhill. A serious injury forced him to give up his career in 1964 when he became involved as Director of Sales and Racing and General Agent for Italy with the Rossignol Group.
Later on, Coppi became a coach and was founder of one of the training centers of the Italian Winters Sports Federation (FISI). Among the many athletes who grew to fame in the Rossignol Team led by Coppi was Alberto Tomba.
In 2000, Coppi became President of FISI, a position he held until 2006. From 2002-2008, Coppi served as a Member of the FIS Council.
Coppi leaves behind his wife Juliana and their children Stella and Nicola.
Dimitris Pappos recently passed away at the age of 75 years after battling cancer.
Pappos was an officer of Special Forces of the Greek Army, a parachutist and spent almost 20 difficult winters on Mount Olympus where the Greek Special Forces were based. This is where he started skiing in 1953 and became the Greek champion in slalom, giant slalom and downhill. He took part in two editions of the Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck (AUT) 1964 and Grenoble (FRA) 1968. He also participated in two FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (Chamonix, FRA, 1962 and Portillo, CHI, l966). Together with his best friend Tilemachos Baldoumis he dominated all ski races around Greece at that time (1956-1978).
After his retirement from racing, he kept his passion for skiing alive while being trainer of the National Ski Team and a number of ski clubs around Greece. Being an active member of the Hellenic Ski Federation he organised competitions and trained upcoming Greek ski racers. For several years he served as Vice President of Alpine events in the Hellenic Ski Federation. He became Chief of Mission for the Greek Ladies’ Team in Albertville (FRA) in 1992 and at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships Saalbach (AUT) in 1991. He was one of the few that saw the future of Snowboarding when he pushed the development of the discipline within his home country.
Among his many contributions to skiing and snowboarding in Greece was the foundation of the well-known ski school Pappos-Baldoumis on Mt Parnassos and the Greek Union of Ski Instructors and Trainers.
Mr. Pappos passed away shortly after the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi (RUS) which he followed closely from his bed in hospital and where he proudly watched his son as a coach of the Greek Ski Team.
FIS would like to express its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Gaetano Coppi and Dimitris Pappos.