Mentor To Olympic Great!

fc2d9Michel Arpin, 80, was a mythic figure in France, where he was coach and mentor to Jean-Claude Killy for several decades.

Born Dec. 29, 1935, in Ste-Foy Tarentaise, 10 miles downstream from Val d’Isère  to a family of hotelkeepers, Michel Arpin joined the French national ski team in 1956. Injuries and bad luck cost him a slalom world championship, and his best-remembered result was fourth place in the 1964 Olympic slalom, 1.4 second behind bronze medalist Jimmie Heuga.

In 1955 he met and began to mentor 12-year-old Jean-Claude Killy. Killy idolized Arpin, and from time to time Arpin helped Killy train. In 1960, Arpin went to work for Dynamic, where Charles Bozon had recently designed the fiberglass VR-7 slalom ski. Together, Arpin and Bozon developed the VR-17, and in 1963 Arpin began building skis for Killy. In 1966 he dropped off the ski team to work full time on skis for Killy and a few more top French skiers. He tested every pair on snow and chose those he knew Killy would like.

The skis Arpin built and tuned helped Killy win the world championship in 1966, the first World Cup season in 1967, three Olympic gold medals in 1968 and the world pro championship in 1973.

“Without him I would have won one gold, possibly two, never three,” Killy said. “My career would have been a nice one but not a great one. He left school, like me, at age 15, but he was the best engineer I knew in the business.”

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About Stephen G. Barr, Group Publisher

Author, Syndicated Columnist, Editor In-Chief and Group Publisher at SGB Media Group, a social media marketing firm specializing in digital media content production, publishing, affiliate marketing, public relations and advertising. Over 25 years experience in retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, affiliate marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, non-profit fund raising. Event planning, promotion, production and MC/Host at public events. Author, Editor & Publisher of 35 syndicated, digital publications utilizing multiple digital distribution channels in conjunction with launching and administrating national advertising campaigns for major Fortune 500 advertisers in partnership with Google, Ning, Facebook, Myspace, Yahoo, DoubleClick, LinkShare, PepperJam and other industry leading third party affiliate networks. Product development team member from conception to launch on many websites, tangible goods and organizational structure for start ups. Specialties: Public relations, retailing, advertising, website & online forum development, niche social networking, blogging, email campaigns, affiliate/performance marketing, search optimization, branding and identity, site location, event production & promotion, non-profit fund raising and tasteful, responsible adult content publishing. An internationally recognized and read social media columnist & pundit on The Examiner, Associate Content, Vator.tv, X-Biz.net and Technorati and his own affiliated sites.
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