Passing of Jean Vuarnet and Barnabas Kovacs

FIS was saddened to learn about the passing of Jean Vuarnet and Barnabas Kovacs.

Vuarnet passed away on 2nd January 2017 at the age of 83. The Frenchman won gold in the downhill event in the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley (USA) which also counted as FIS World Championships and bronze in the downhill event in the 1958 World Championships in Bad Gastein (AUT).

He helped pioneer the aerodynamic tuck position for downhill racers which has been copied and perfected by generations of skiers. He was also the first skier to win an Olympic gold on metal skis.

Vuarnet later lent his name to a successful brand of eyewear and was involved in the development of the Avoriaz ski resort in the French Alps.

Barnabas Kovacs

Barnabas Kovacs passed away in a car accident on 1st January 2017 at the age of 70.

Kovacs was a significant figure in the Hungarian skiing community. An alpine skier until the age of 18, he became Hungarian junior champion several times and was a member of the national team. As of 1985, he worked as Alpine head coach in countries including the Netherlands, Chile, Australia and Argentina before he returned to Hungary in 2008 as head coach for the national team. Last year, he handed over his position but remained in charge of the Hungarian Cross-Country, Freestyle Skiing, Ski Jumping and Biathlon teams.

During his career, he participated at six Olympic Winter Games and eleven FIS World Championships.

FIS would like to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of Jean Vuarnet and Barnabas Kovacs.