Didier Cuche

Didier Cuche ( born August 16, 1974 in Le Pâquier ) is a retired Swiss ski racer. He was specialized in downhill, super -G and giant slalom and was in these disciplines over several years a world leader. After he had ventured to world class in 1998 and won a silver medal at the Olympics, were major successes in the following years despite constant good performance sparse, making it the image of the "eternal second " earned. It was not until about 30 years old when he began to really get his great potential. He won four medals at World Championships and decided six World Cup discipline ratings for themselves. Cuche holds the records as the oldest winner of a World Cup race in the disciplines of downhill, super -G and giant slalom, he is also the oldest World Cup winner ever.

  • 2.1 Olympic Winter Games
  • 2.2 World Championships
  • 2.3 World Cup ratings
  • 2.4 World Cup wins
  • 2.5 Further successes


Climb to the top of the world

Cuche grew up as the youngest of three children in the hamlet of Les Bugnenets, which belongs to Le Pâquier in the Val de Ruz and is located on the northwest edge of the Chasseral. The skiing in the ski resort he learned Bugnenets - Savagnières, one of the ski lifts start directly next to the run of his parents' restaurant Bonne Auberge. In addition, the father ran a small cattle trade. After graduation Cuche did an apprenticeship as a butcher. He climbed into the cadres of Swiss-Ski up and was initially promoted as a slalom skier, until the coach discovered his talent for speed disciplines.

At the beginning of his professional career seemed little to hint at future success. Cuche took part in the Junior World Championship in 1993, but did not have a twelfth square. His debut in the Ski World Cup he had on December 29, 1993 in Bormio, the descent on the Pista Stelvio, he finished second last. He then came mainly in European Cup races to use, but without achieving a podium finish. His second World Cup races he contested for almost two years later on December 16, 1995 in Val Gardena, where he won first World Cup points as 21 of the Saslong departure. The entire 1996/97 season had to cancel Cuche after he broke training camp in Australia on the left tibia and fibula.

Downright spectacular was Cuches rise in the 1997/98 season. After he was driven for the first time in December in a World Cup race in the top ten, he won on 23 January 1998 as a complete surprise the discharged in two runs Downhill on the Streif in Kitzbühel; the next day he had just defeated Kristian Ghedina in the "classical" Hahnenkamm downhill. Cuche qualified for the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, where she won the super-G silver medal, behind Hermann Maier and the same time as Hans Knauss. At the end of the season followed by the first Swiss Championship.


In winter 1998/99 Cuche could not meet the high expectations screwed. A podium was out, the best result was a fourth place end of the season in the Super -G in Kvitfjell. The 1999/2000 season brought a noticeable increase in performance with three podium finishes, but a victory he had to continue to wait. After he had been noticed especially in the speed disciplines, he joined now in the giant slalom in the vicinity of the world leaders in front. In the 2000 /01 season Cuche went only once on the podium. Although potential victory was certainly present, but he placed himself under unnecessary pressure to give einschlichen small mistakes again and again during the trips.

Cuche celebrated each his first World Cup victory in the disciplines of giant slalom and Super - G in the 2001/ 02 season. In particular, his victory on 5 January 2002 at Chuenisbärgli in Adelboden giant slalom of the most difficult track in the world, made ​​in Switzerland for enthusiasm. At the finish he wanted wegkicken the ski from the binding, but the unintentionally made ​​a somersault. Cuche perfected this original way of Skiabschnallens, which has become his trademark, and showed the trick each for particularly good performances. Disappointing went for him the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City: It was in the tenth departure and missed by best interval in the Super- G the last goal.

In the 2002/03 season Cuche could go out four times a podium finish, including a victory in a Super -G. On 30 January 2004 the victory stood out on the Kandahar downhill in Garmisch -Partenkirchen, otherwise his performances in the 2003/04 season were rather mediocre compared to previous years. Promising the 2004/05 season began with two podium finishes in the giant slalom. When training in Adelboden he retired in January 2005, a torn ACL in his right knee and had to end the season prematurely. While the injury was the documentary Le Doute ( " Doubt "), which shows Cuches arduous journey back to the top and was broadcast in March 2007 on Swiss television. The 2005/06 season was largely devoted to the rediscovery of the earlier form object, the best result was an eighth place.

" Second Spring "

Cuche was considered an excellent skier, but the often lacked the necessary amount of luck at the right moment in order to be placed with the front runners. With three World Cup appearances he had to win a medal, due to numerous just missed winning clung to it the reputation of the "eternal second " to. From this image, he could slowly dissolve in the 2006/07 season. While he was in runs four consecutive runner-up, but also won a race and won a discipline rating for the first time ever. In the 2007 World Ski Championships in Åre, he won by a fourth place finish in the Super -G ( 1/100 of a second behind bronze ) and sixth place in the downhill (4 /100 second behind bronze ) bronze in the giant slalom.

Even better was the 2007/08 season, a total of twelve times stood in the Cuche on the podium. Although again including only two wins were (super -G in Val Gardena and departure in Kitzbühel), presented the results for the renewed winning the downhill discipline standings. Before the decisive Bormio downhill Cuche was only five points ahead of Bode Miller, but then had to be canceled the last race of the season, as no training run could be performed. In the super - G World Cup itself Cuche had to be beaten only a point Hannes Reichelt around after him his teammate Daniel Albrecht had driven out of the points. In the overall standings, he became the second consecutive third parties.

The planning for the 2008/09 season Cuche taught entirely on the 2009 World Championships in Val d'Isere, where he was able to celebrate the most important of his career. On the demanding slopes Face de Bellevarde he won with a wide margin the Super -G and won in the downhill silver medal. In the World Cup he was in that winter only once on top of the podium, but secured the giant slalom discipline rating; in the World Cup, he finished the fourth time in third place.

Cuche won the start of the 2009/10 season at the age of 35 years and three months in the giant slalom on the Rettenbachferner in Sölden. He has since been the oldest World Cup champion in this discipline, wherein he surpassed his own record by eight months. Another age record, this time in the downhill event, he set up with his victory in Lake Louise on November 28, 2009. Two weeks later he was elected to the Swiss Sportsman of the Year in 2009, where he was able to prevail against the favorite tennis player Roger Federer.

In January 2010, Cuche won on the Streif in Kitzbühel despite a broken rib both the Super -G and the downhill. He was so after Eberharter and Hermann Maier only the third driver to have succeeded. At the same time it increased in the downhill his own record as the oldest winner ever. Disappointing, however, ran the Olympic Winter Games 2010. Despite a broken thumb he was among the most frequently mentioned favorites, especially in the downhill, but did not have a sixth square. With the victory in the penultimate downhill of the season in Kvitfjell he secured the downhill World Cup for the third time and again improved his age record that held until the victory of Michael Walchshofer in the departure of Lake Louise on November 27, 2010. In the overall standings, he was the fourth time in a row and for the fifth time by third parties.

More Age Records and Returns

On January 22, 2011 Cuche took his departure win on the Streif in Kitzbühel by Walchshofer the title as the oldest downhill World Cup winner back and also sparked Marco Büchel as the oldest World Cup winner ever from. With his fourth downhill victory in Kitzbühel he pulled the same with Franz Klammer and Karl Schranz, but clamp time was the only one who had won all four victories in the classic Hahnenkamm downhill. A week later Cuche also won in Chamonix. At the World Championships 2011 in Garmisch -Partenkirchen, he won the silver medal in the downhill and had only beaten the Canadians Erik Guay. Cuche won 13 March 2011 the Super -G Kvitfjell and has since also in this discipline, the oldest winner of a World Cup race. With a fourth place at the World Cup finals in Lenzerheide, he secured the victory for the fourth time in the downhill discipline rating; after the weather-related cancellation of the Super -G, he stood firmly as a winner of the discipline standings.

At the beginning of the 2011/12 season Cuche won the downhill in Lake Louise, but was then increasingly in the shadow of Beat Feuz. A few days after his election as the "Swiss of the Year", he announced on January 19, 2012 at a press conference in Kitzbuehel his imminent resignation in March. Two days later he won consecutively the classic Hahnenkamm downhill for the fourth time overall and for the third time; so he hired these two previously held by Franz Klammer records. Cuche is considered the first five-time winner on the Streif downhill since he has also won a 1998 carried out as an additional race Downhill. It was followed by two more wins in Garmisch -Partenkirchen and Crans -Montana. The records held by him he screwed age to 37 years and 7 months in the Super- G and 37 years and 6 months in the downhill. At the World Cup finals in Schladming Cuche drove his last race on 17 March 2012. The second passage of this giant slaloms he denied goodbye on wooden skis and nostalgic ski clothing.

Commitment since the resignation

In summer 2012, Didier Cuche supported his former colleagues departure Beat Feuz in Chile during its transition to a new Skifabrikat. His enduring passion for high speeds, he demonstrates beyond in automobile racing, for example, as a pilot of racing taxis on the occasion of the international mountain race Arosa ClassicCar 2012 and 2013. Since December 2012, Cuche has been a consultant for Swiss-Ski. In this role he is selected at World and European races especially the young driver support with his experience.


Olympic Winter Games

  • Nagano 1998: 2 Super -G, downhill 8
  • Salt Lake City 2002: 10 Giant Slalom, Downhill 14
  • Turin 2006: 12 Super -G, Giant Slalom 19
  • Vancouver 2010: 6 exit 10 Super -G, Giant Slalom 14

World Championships

  • Vail / Beaver Creek 1999: 8 Super -G, downhill 14
  • St. Anton 2001: 5 Super -G, Giant Slalom 16
  • St. Moritz 2003: 4th exit 11, the Super-G, Giant Slalom 12
  • Åre 2007: 3 Giant Slalom, Super-G, 4, 6 departure
  • Val d' Isere 2009: 1 Super -G, 2nd exit 6 Giant Slalom
  • Garmisch -Partenkirchen 2011: 2nd exit 4 Super -G, Giant Slalom 8

World Cup ratings

  • Season 1997/ 98: 8 Overall World Cup downhill World Cup 4, 6 Super - G World Cup
  • Season 1998/99: 4 Combined World Cup
  • Season 1999/ 00: 9 super- G World Cup
  • Season 2000/ 01: 10th overall World Cup giant slalom World Cup 6
  • Season 2001/ 02: 3rd Overall World Cup, 2 Super - G World Cup, 4 giant slalom World Cup
  • Season 2002/ 03: 5 Overall World Cup, 3rd Super - G World Cup, 9th downhill World Cup
  • Season 2003/ 04: 13th overall World Cup downhill World Cup 9, 10, Super - G World Cup 10 World Cup giant slalom
  • Season 2006/ 07: 3rd Overall World Cup, first downhill World Cup, 3rd World Cup super-G, giant slalom World Cup 7
  • Season 2007/ 08: 3rd Overall World Cup, first downhill World Cup, 2 Super - G World Cup, 4 giant slalom World Cup
  • Season 2008/ 09: 3rd Overall World Cup giant slalom World Cup 1, 7 Downhill World Cup, 7 Super -G World Cup
  • Season 2009/ 10: 3 Overall World Cup, first downhill World Cup, 8 Super - G World Cup, 9 Giant Slalom World Cup
  • 2010/11 season: 2nd Overall World Cup, first downhill World Cup, 1 Super - G World Cup, 9 Giant Slalom World Cup
  • Season 2011/12: 6 Overall World Cup, 2 Super - G World Cup, 3rd World Cup downhill

World Cup wins

  • 21 World Cup victories (12 x departure, 6 x Super -G, Giant Slalom 3 x )
  • 67 podiums (32 x departure, 23 x Super -G, Giant Slalom 12 x )

Other successes

  • 9 Swiss championships: 4x Super -G: 1998, 2003, 2007, 2008
  • 3x Departure: 1998, 2006, 2011
  • 2x Giant Slalom: 2002, 2009


  • World Sports Archives, issue 24 /2003 ( Munzinger archive)