The magic years of the Valanga Azzurra
Piero Gros, named Pierino, was born for skiing in Jouvenceaux (Sauze d’Oulx) on 30th October 1954.
He joined the Italian National ski team in 1970. In 1972, when he was eighteen, he started racing in the World Cup. He was the winner of the first two races achieving the record of the youngest winner of a world cup race, record which he still holds.
In 1974 he won the Alpine Ski World Cup becoming one of only three Italian skiers to reach this goal together with Gustav Thoeni and later, Alberto Tomba. In the same year he also won the Giant Slalom World Cup and the bronze medal in the same discipline at the St. Moritz World Championships.
During that unrepeatable season, in Berchtesgaden, he was the winner of a race which made history in the Italian alpine skiing. That day five Italian athlets got the first five best results.
In the XII Olympic Winter Games Innsbruck 1976 he reached the podium to win the gold medal in slalom. Then he won the silver medal in slalom in the Garmisch-Partenkirchen World Championships in 1978.
During his career he won twelve World Cup races , seven in giant slalom and five in slalom. In the World Championships he won sixteen medals, one in downhill, five in giant slalom, seven in slalom and three in combined races.
Throughout his career he was Italian champion ten times in all the different alpine ski categories.
In 1982, when he was just 28, he decided to stop racing.
From 1985 until 1990 he was the mayor of Sauze d’Oulx. Then he became television commentator following the alpine ski races, first for Tele Capodistria, then from 1990 until1995 for Rai. He has worked for RSI Lugano since 1996.
In 1994 he was appointed vice government commissary in the organizing committee of the Alpine Ski World Championships Sestriere 1997.
From 2002 until 2006 he worked for the XX Olympic Winter Games Torino 2006 organizing committee and he was the testimonial for the volunteers. He was also appointed vice mayor of the Sestriere Olympic village. During the opening ceremony of the games on 10th February 2006 he had the honor of being one of the torchbearers running into the stadium together with Alberto Tomba, Maurilio De Zolt, Marco Albarello, Giorgio Vanzetta, Silvio Fauner and Debora Compagnoni who handed the Olympic torch to Stefania Belmondo who lit the Olympic cauldron.
At the moment Pierino is still a commentator for the Swiss Italian television, and he also works for the Italian clothing firm COLMAR and for the TECNICA BLIZZARD GROUP (ski boots and skis).
Piero is looking forward to meeting you in his apartments and being a ski instructor to ski with you on the slopes where he started skiing as a child.
See you soon.View the gallery