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Valanga Azzura coach, Mario Cotelli, passes away
Mario Cotelli and Piero Gros

It is with great sadness that FIS learned of the passing of Italian Mario Cotelli (76) on Monday 5th November 2019. 

The former technical director of the Valanga Azzurra had been on dialysis for some years due to kidney failure. In the rare releases he had made in recent seasons, he has always been the usual Cotelli: unassailable memory, fighter and defender of his theories. No one hesitates to express his opinions which have often ignited the fire of discussions. He arrived in the Blue world of skiing in Team B as deputy to Jean Vuarnet. Then the inimitable team A of Gustavo Thoeni, of the Pierino Gros and of all the other heroes of the Avalanche. Remaining in office for 9 years, his management was the most successful in the history of the Italian ski team. It was in those years that, in the World Cup, Italy won the overall title 5 times and 12 medals between World Cups and Olympics, dominating the technical disciplines.

In 1978, at a time of crisis of the national ski team, he decided to resign from his post. He continued his career on the track as a television columnist and columnist for the Corriere della Sera for many years. 

"The President Flavio Roda, the Federal Council, the Athletes, Technicians and all the federal staff are close to the Cotelli family in this moment of great sorrow," reads the Fisi note.

He also remained in history for being the first Italian technical commissioner to have won a podium, a victory, an absolute and specialty World Cup title.

Under his guidance, two of the greatest ski champions were born and over a dozen great athletes, all able to get on the podium at least once. In 1970/1971, the Italian national alpine ski team won its first Overall World Cup thanks to Gustavo Thoeni. In 1972 two other great Italian skiers made their debut: Herbert Plank, one of the greatest downhill racers of every age, and Piero Gros,slalom Olympic Gold medal in 1976. The definitive consecration of the national one was January 7th 1974, when 5 Italians placed themselves in the first 5 places, on the occasion of the giant slalom of Berchtesgaden.

FIS would like to express its deepest condolences to the Italian Ski Federation and all family members, friends and loved ones of Mario Cotelli. 

 
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