Gian Simmen

Gian Simmen ( born February 19, 1977 in Chur ) is a Swiss snowboarder from Arosa. With his victory at the Olympic Winter Games 1998, he is the first Halfpipe Olympic gold medalist in snowboarding. In addition, he was in 2001 and 2002 ISF World Champion in the same discipline.

Life and career

The nephew of former hockey international's Jöri Mattli spent his early years with his parents and two brothers in Davos. In the late 1980s the family moved to Simmen Arosa, where the father took over the management of the local clubs Robinson. Gian first skied before he came 1989 on the skateboarding to snowboarding. A year later, he earned his first halfpipe competition, in the context of the then Regional Cup. In 1995 he took part in the Junior World Championships in Slovenia, where he reached the fifth rank. After this first international respect Simmen success began with a consistent training on the newly created halfpipe at Tschuggen, where he taught the most jumps and tricks without a coach himself.

He was Swiss champion in 1996, 1998 at the World Cup of the International Ski Federation ( FIS ) in St. Moritz and the Second European Snowboard Championships in Fieberbrunn third parties. Simmen joined thereto to the pros, but could not win a first international race. At the 1998 Winter Olympics to Nagano 's why he went only as an outsider, as which he with 85.2 points surprisingly won the gold medal in the halfpipe on 12 February. On the occasion of the return of Japan Simmens the Arosa halfpipe was completely sprayed with gold paint.

In Salt Lake City at the 2002 Winter Olympics, where Simmen was allowed to carry the flag of the Swiss Olympic Team, it was enough after falling in the second round, only for 18th place with 33.5 points. On the other hand, he was in 2002 as the year before ISF World Champion and finished the season for the second consecutive year as the No. 1 Halfpipe World Ranking.

Also for the Olympic Games in Turin of the Grisons was able to qualify again and was 33.8 points 19 After these games he resigned from the national team, however, went further than the professional team of Santa Cruz Snowboards, O'Neill, Smith, Drake, level, Ford, Northwave Snowboard and participated in numerous films and photographs.

In addition, Simmen operated as a commentator at the event and the Swiss Sports Television where he contributed among other contributions to Arosa ClassicCar. On the occasion of the farewell broadcast by Thomas Gottschalk at Wetten, dass. ? he took on 3 December 2011 and snowboarders participated in an outside bet in Ischgl.

His last race as a professional Simmen denied on January 17, 2013 in the O'Neill Evolution in Davos. In the future he wants to concentrate on as a snowboarder on film and photo shots and act as an expert for the Swiss television. Working as a trainer at Swiss - Snowboard he will not continue.

Gian Simmen lives with his wife Petra and their three sons in Krattigen on Lake Thun in recent years.


Olympic games

ISF World Championships

  • ISF World Championships 2001: 1st Halfpipe
  • ISF World Championships 2002: 1st Halfpipe

European Championships

  • European Championships: 3 Halfpipe

FIS World Cup

  • 4 podiums in 10 races, including two victories:

Other successes (selection)


  • Neue Zürcher Zeitung of 16 January, 2013, page 42
  • The southeast Switzerland January 15, 2013, p 24
  • Hans Danuser: Arosa - as it was then, Vol 7 (1996-2003), self-published Danuser, Arosa 2004, pp. 43, 101 f
  • Hans Danuser / SC Arosa ( ed.) 100 Years of Ski Club Arosa 1903 to 2003, self-published SC Arosa, Arosa 2003, pp. 114 ff