From rebel to Olympic champion and showman to motivational speaker and philanthropist, freestyle skier Edgar Grospiron has embraced them all.
Grospiron is the subject of the Olympic Channel’s first episode in the new season of Legends Live On, which will also feature athletes like Hicham El Guerrouj, who won the 1,500/5,000m double at the Olympic Games 2004; six-time fencing champion Valentina Vezzali; Uschi Disl, winner of nine biathlon medals over five Olympic Winter Games; and triple swimming gold medallist Peter van den Hoogenband.
After announcing to his despairing student guidance counsellor that he would become a world freestyle skiing champion, Frenchman Grospiron won two global titles in moguls before arriving at the Olympic Winter Games Albertville 1992 as the clear favourite.
Despite blizzard-like conditions, with snowflakes as big as five-franc coins, the 22-year-old was undeterred and conquered the course to become the inaugural Olympic moguls champion. “I was on a mission and I just did my thing,” he said. “When you cross the finish line you’re relieved. It’s like you’re high. You’re on a cloud.”
Grospiron claimed bronze medals two years later in Lillehammer and a world title in 1995, before retiring to become a motivational coach and an author.
He also created an association to provide funding for younger athletes, one of whom – Perrine Laffont – went on to win gold in the moguls at PyeongChang 2018 as one golden generation helped create the next.