Flying the flag for women’s sport in Méribel

October 21, 2022

In 2019, more than 90% of the front pages of the sports newspaper L'Équipe were devoted to achievements by men.

However, more and more of us believe that it is time to change the place given to top-level sportswomen and their performances. 

In Méribel, we have been promoting the values of equality and diversity for years and we are delighted to bring this subject back to the forefront as we host the women’s events of the Alpine World Ski Championships in February 2023

The women skiers will compete on the Roc de Fer piste located above the Chaudanne in Méribel-Centre. The fastest skiers will reach 120 km/hr on the final wall, a unique spectacle that you will be able to watch from the edge of the slopes or from the 2023 village at La Chaudanne. 

Convinced that the values of sport are values which can push back boundaries, we believe that this major sporting event is the time to reaffirm our commitments to gender equality and diversity in mountain sports.

Méribel, home to women's sport

At the heart of the largest ski area in the world, Méribel is renowned for its savoir-faire, its international-level pistes and its enthusiasm for competition. The legendary Roc de Fer piste in Méribel, designed for the women’s events at the 1992 Winter Olympics and since reshaped to meet the standards set by the International Ski Federation, will be the venue for the women’s competitions and also all the parallel events. 

Unlike many sports, women have been competing in the World Alpine Skiing Championships since they began in 1931 in the same events as men, namely the downhill, slalom and combined. Alpine skiing then made its appearance at the 1936 Winter Olympics, and from these first games onwards, women have taken part in the competition. 

In this way, Alpine skiing was a forerunner in terms of equality of access to competitions for women. For example, the first women’s athletics events did not appear at the Olympic Games until 1928 (32 years after the first men’s athletics event at the Olympics). Although from the very beginning, female athletes took part in the major Alpine skiing competitions, media coverage of Alpine skiing remains focused on men.

The French female racers at the heart of the competition


    A skier specialising in technical events (slalom and giant slalom). In 2020, Clara Direz won her first World Cup race in the finals of the parallel giant slalom in Sestrières. Over a ten-year period, she was the first French woman to win an Alpine Skiing World Cup in any discipline.

    Born in Moûtiers, not far from Méribel, Laura is a versatile competitor. She is equally at home in downhill, super-G and combined. She began her career in 2008, winning the Topolino in giant slalom (the unofficial world championship for under 13s).

    Coralie joined a ski club at the age of 5. She takes part in various events, competing in giant slalom, super-G and parallel. During the World Cup Finals in Courchevel-Méribel 2022, she finished in 5th place in the parallel team event. We look forward to her rematch in 2023!

    Romane won her first World Cup in 2022 in Lenzerheide in a superb super-G race. This victory put an end to seventeen years without a French female victory in World Cup speed events.

    Seven times French champion, Nastasia is passionate about slalom, the only event she competes in. At thirty-three years old, she is the only single-discipline slalom skier in the French A group.

    Twice world champion in giant slalom (in 2013 and 2017), she has been one of the world’s best female skiers in this discipline for more than 10 years and won the crystal globe in 2017, her crowning achievement!

Enjoy the event to the full with these tips from Marie Marchand-Arvier, vice world champion in supe

Are you wondering where the best place to watch the spectacle is? To answer this question, we asked Marie Marchand-Arvier, who took 3rd place in the downhill world cup in Méribel in 2013. 

What you will see from the edge of the piste: 

You can watch almost half of the race from the side of the piste, beginning with the start, observing how the competitors prepare and feeling the atmosphere. Then, as you descend alongside the Roc de Fer piste, you can look down on the races, about ten metres from the line taken by the skiers. You can see and hear them: the breathing of the racers who sometimes shout out; you can hear the skis hitting the landing of the jumps and moving at nearly 120 km/hr. Then at the tunnel, a fan zone will be set up from where you can see from the start to the tunnel, i.e. 25 seconds of racing.

Get close to the finish area to watch the end of the race: 

The end of the race is best experienced from the finish area or the grandstand, for which you need a ticket. You can watch part of the race from alongside the course and then go to the finish area to watch the end of the spectacle in a totally different and lively atmosphere. It takes about an hour to watch the first thirty go by, so you have time to do both.”