Alexis Pinturault is the new Skieur d’Or AIJS – Serge Lang Trophy 2021
For the first time since 1997, a majority of members of the AIJS (Association Internationale des Journalistes de Ski) decided to elect a French racer, Alexis Pinturault, as the “Skieur d’Or AIJS” for the 2021 season in recognition of his recent achievements and his agreeable personality. That year, it was the very charismatic Luc Alphand, the second Frenchman to clinch the overall World Cup title after JC Killy in 1967 and 1968, who was elected as “Skieur d’Or AIJS” following his numerous successes in events in past years.
In March 2021, Pinturault became the only third skier in the French team to capture the big crystal globe during the Finals at Lenzerheide, in Switzerland, and this on his 30th birthday, in March 20th! With a total of 34 victories and a total of 74 podiums on the World Cup tour in the past ten years and multiple medals at recent Olympics and FIS World Championships including gold in combined at Are 2019, Alexis is one of the most successful athletes on the tour as well as one of the best “allrounders” with wins in all alpine disciplines except downhill. From 2014 to 2020 he finished five times on the podium in the overall standings and was eight times 2nd or 3rd in the giant slalom classification before dominating his during the 2020/21 season with four victories!
Members of the International Association of the Ski Journalists also sent votes for other top champions such as Petra Vlhova (SVK), Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI), Beat Feuz (SUI), Sofia Goggia (ITA), Marco Odermatt (SUI), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) who all together shared as much votes as Alexis Pinturault.
The vote for the 2021 “Skieur d’Or AIJS” was unfortunately delayed last fall by the Covid Pandemia which affected once again the normal process of voting and prevented the presentation of the AIJS Trophy created by Joska at Bodenmais and funded by FIS during the World Cup Opening at Soelden after the cancellation of the FIS Forum there. If possible, Alexis will be awarded during the final part of the season after the 2022 Olympics.
“As so often, the winners of the overall World Cup standings were clearly front runners in this year’s election but Alexis received by far the largest amount of votes from members from several countries,” commented AIJS President Patrick Lang, in charge since 1999 of the organization of the election process.
“All the racers named by our colleagues enjoyed great moments during the 2020/21 season and fully deserved to be part of this election. As an example, Petra Vlhova fought hard in all disciplines during the entire season to collect her first big Crystal globe while Lara Gut-Behrami had an amazing FIS World Championships at Cortina d’Ampezzo five years after her triumph in the overall standings.”
“All of us saw how dedicated Alexis has been in past seasons in his attempts to claim the big globe, so many believed that he fully deserved to finally clinch it. Alexis is a pleasant interview partner for reporters who appreciate his efforts to answer in several languages including English and German. We wish him much luck in his next competitions.”
Winners of the “AIJS Skieur d’Or “ – Serge Lang Trophy 2005-2020
2005 – B. Miller (USA) – 2006 – B. Raich (AUT) 2007 – A.L. Svindal (NOR) 2008 – M. Lanzinger (AUT) 2009 L. Vonn (USA) 2010 – C. Janka (SUI) 2011 – I. Kostelic (CRO) 2012 – M. Hirscher (AUT) 2013 – T. Maze (SLO) 2014 – A. Fenninger (AUT) 2015 – A. Fenninger (AUT) & M. Hirscher (AUT) – 2016 & 2018 Marcel Hirscher -2019 Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – 2020 Federica Brignone (ITA)
Federica Brignone Skieur d’Or AIJS 2020
Twenty-five years after the great Alberto Tomba, another Italian champion has been elected « Skieur d’Or AIJS » by the members of the International Association of the Ski Journalists following the 2019/2020 season – Federica Brignone, the first Italian woman to clinch the overall World Cup standings after a tremendous season.
It’s only the 20th time since the creation of the AIJS Trophy back in 1963 that a woman was elected by some of the most renowned Ski Experts on the circuit as the « Athlete of the Winter ».
Among this very exclusive list of « Ski Greats » one can find true skiing legends starting with the Goitschel sisters in1964 and Canada’s Tiger Nancy in 1968 and including Mikaela Shiffrin in 2017 and 2019. Of course top champions such as Annemarie Moser-Proell Rosi Mittermaier, Lindsey Vonn or Janica Kostelic also belong to this prestigious group.
Interestingly, Brignone is also the first member of the Italian « Squadra Rosa » to be named « Skieur d’Or AIJS » in its history, a fully deserved reward for the accomplished champion who is also an excellent communicator with the international media thanks to her language skills, she speaks excellent Italian, German, English and French.
With 16 World Cup wins and 44 podiums in four specialties in her career to date, plus medals at Olympics and World Championships in 2018 and 2011, « Fede » is ranked among the most successful Italian athletes on the Alpine circuit. Last winter she celebrated five wins and a total of eleven podiums which allowed her to also clinch the globes in giant slalom and the big Globe for the Overall.
Only 17 when she made her debut in December 2007 at the World Cup race
at Lienz, Brignone had to fight hard and overcome difficult moments including a foot injury in 2012 before finally enjoying her maiden World Cup win at Soelden in October 2015.
Supported by her brother Davide for several years, also a promising
racer prior suffering several injuries, Federica was inspired by the successful career of her mom, Maria Rosa Quario, one of the best slalom specialists on the World Cup tour in the early 1980s with her 4 victories and 15 podium finishes.
Quario is now a established and respected ski journalist on the « White Circus » that she has been reporting on for a long time on behalf of several Italian media.
« It surely is very special for me to see Federica being awarded that AIJS Trophy which also wears the name of my dad, as I have known her since she was a little girl , » said AIJS President Patrick Lang about her award.
« It’s also pretty funny for me to be watching her doing so well, so many years after having attended many races in which her mother has been so successful. »
Because of the complicated sanitary situation that the World Cup tour has been facing for over a year now, Federica could not receive her AIJS Trophy at Soelden like many of the previous recipients during the FIS Alpine Forum.
Hopefully she will have the chance to receive the beautiful AIJS Trophy in crystal provided by Joska on behalf of FIS in a few months time at the next Forum Alpinum together with the winner from the present season, 2020 /21.
Skieur d’Or AIJS – Serge Lang Trophy 2019.
Second AIJS Award for Mikaela Shiffrin (USA).
For the second time in recent years, a majority of members of the AIJS decided to elect an American ski champion as recipient of the ‘Skieur d’Or – AIJS Serge Lang Trophy’ presented by AIJS President Patrick Lang
at Soelden on Friday Oct.25 th – 2019 in occasion of the “FIS Forum Alpinum” to USA’s wondergirl Mikaela Shiffrin.
The three-time overall World Cup champion and multiple gold medalist at Olympics and FIS events is collecting for the second time the esteemed crystal trophy created by Joska and handed over by FIS since her previous election back in 2017. In past years, two other US athletes, Lindsey Vonn back in 2009 and Bode Miller in 2005 were also elected ‘Skieur d’Or AIJS’ by a larger number of ski reporters covering the World Cup tour.
During the past six years, the charming 24-year-old athlete from Vail Valley, in Colorado amassed an impressive collection of crystal trophies, gold medals at major events and victories on the World Cup tour. As a reminder, she celebrated 17 victories last winter to become the only racer to have excelled in all alpine specialties including in parallel races. So far, she won an impressive total of 60 competitions since her maiden triumph at Are, in Sweden, in December 2012 as well as four consecutive FIS gold medals in slalom since 2013.
Members of the International Association of the Ski Journalists also awarded many votes to last year’s recipient Marcel Hirscher, while Alexis Pinturault, Dominik Paris, Henrik Kristoffersen or Sofia Goggia too received much support.
“Mikaela as well as Marcel Hirscher were clearly close front runners in this year’s election – and of course both fully deserve it after all their amazing achievements during the past winter. They moved on the highest level during the entire last season and clearly dominated the rest of the field,” commented AIJS President Patrick Lang at the award ceremony at Soelden. “At the end, Mikaela passed Marcel by only a few votes in this year’s election despites the strong support expressed by the great majority of the Austrian members for Marcel Hirscher.
Obviously they wanted to congratulate him a last time his incredible career.”
“Mikaela is a very enjoyable interview partner for ski reporters who greatly appreciate her interesting answers on various subjects. She surely is doing a great job to promote our sport around the globe,” also said Patrick Lang in charge of the organization of the ‘Skieur d’Or’ award for over two decades now. “Everyone within the World Cup tour is impressed by her passion and her dedication for alpine ski racing. She works really very hard on and off the snow fields. There are only a few examples in the history of our sport of top-athletes ready to take risks competing in all specialties while shooting for the stars and become true skiing legends. She surely has much more to achieve in her mind. We all wish her great luck for another successful season this winter and more interesting stories with her.”
AIJS SKIEUR D’OR – SERGE LANG TROPHY 2018 FOR MARCEL HIRSCHER (AUT).
For the fourth time in his impressive career, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher was elected “Skieur d’Or AIJS” by a numerous members of the International Association of Ski Journalists founded in 1963.
The 29-year-old champion from south of Salzburg who set an impressive record of seven consecutive overall World Cup titles after winning 12 competitions last winter equaled Swiss Ski Legends Pirmin Zurbriggen with his fourth AIJS Award. The Austrian was already rewarded for his great achievements in 2012, 2015 and 2016.
Hirscher who scored his first World Cup podium ten years ago at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, in March 2008, will enter the World Cup history as one of the most successful technical skiers since 1967 with a total of 58 victories and 8 gold medals in various disciplines.
He was closely followed in the votes this year by Czech’s Ester Ledecka the surprising Super-G Olympic Champion who also captured gold in snowboard. Behind them many other top-athletes as Aksel Lund Svindal, Mikaela Shiffrin, Lindsey Vonn who also celebrated some great wins during the past season.
Marcel Hirscher could unfortunately not attend the scheduled Award Presentation at the FIS Forum Alpinum which will prevent him to receive the beautiful Cristal Trophy organized by FIS and Joska this time.
Members of AIJS wish Marcel and all the other leaders a successful and enjoyable ski season.
Soelden, October 26th – 2018
The Skieur d’Or – Winners of the AIJS Skieur d’Or – Serge Lang* Trophy
1963 : Egon Zimmermann AUT
1964 : Marielle & Christine Goitschel FRA
1965 : Jean-Claude Killy FRA
1966 : Karl Schranz AUT
1967 : Jean-Claude Killy FRA
1968 : Nancy Greene USA
1969 : Karl Schranz AUT
1970 : Karl Schranz AUT
1971 : Annemarie Moser-Proell AUT
1972 : Bernhard Russi ITA
1973 : Gustaf Thoeni ITA
1974 : Gustaf Thoeni ITA
1975 : Franz Klammer AUT
1976 : Rosi Mittermaier GER
1977 : Ingemar Stenmark SWE
1978 : Ingemar Stenmark SWE
1979 : Ingemar Stenmark SWE
1980 : Hanni Wenzel LIE
1981 : Marie-Theres Nadig SUI
1982 : Erika Hess SUI
1983 : Phil Mahre USA
1984 : Pirmin Zurbriggen SUI
1985 : Pirmin Zurbriggen SUI
1986 : Maria Walliser SUI
1987 : Pirmin Zurbriggen SUI
1988 : Alberto Tomba ITA
1989 : Marc Girardelli LUX
1990 : Petra Kronberger AUT & Pirmin Zurbriggen SUI
1991 : Marc Girardelli LUX
1992 : Abberto Tomba ITA
1993 : Kjetil André Aamodt NOR
1994 : Vreni Schneider SUI
1995 : Vreni Schneider SUI
1996 : Alberto Tomba ITA
1997 : Luc Alphand FRA
1998 : Hermann Maier AUT
1999 : Lasse Kjus NOR
2000 : Kjetil André Aamodt NOR
2001 : Janica Kostelic CRO
2002 : Stephan Eberharter AUT
2003 : Stephan Eberharter AUT
2004 : Hermann Maier AUT
2005 : Bode Miller USA
2006 : Benjamin Raich AUT
2007 : Aksel-Lund Svindal NOR
2008 : Matthias Lanzinger AUT
2009 : Lindsey Vonn USA
2010 : Carlo Janka SUI
2011 : Ivica Kostelic CRO
2012 : Marcel Hirscher AUT
2013 : Tina Maze SLO
2014 : Anna Fenninger AUT
2015 : Anna Fenninger AUT & Marcel Hirscher AUT
2016 : Marcel Hirscher AUT
2017 : Mikaela Shiffrin USA
2018 : Marcel Hirscher AUT
2019 : Mikaela Shiffrin USA
2020 : Federica Brignone ITA
*Serge Lang (1920-1999), était un ancien journaliste français, très bon skieur et également fondateur de la Coupe du monde de ski alpin. French skier and Journalist he creates the Alpine Ski World Cup