Two time world champion Jean-Baptiste Grange, in a social media post Friday, announced this season will be his last. The 36-year-old Frenchman, currently 22nd in the World Cup slalom rankings, is expected to kick out for the final times in Kranjska Gora Sunday and in Lenzerheid for World Cup Finals, presuming he remains ranked in the the top-25.
“After 17 years of the World Cup, it’s time for me to close this beautiful chapter in my life and hang up the skis at the end of the season,” he said in the post.
“It was an incredible adventure that started at a young age in my village of Valloire, set in motion by a family of skiers on whom I have been able to rely ever since, always with dedication and discretion.
“An adventure that could have ended abruptly at the age of 11 following 2 herniated discs. Driven by this crazy passion for ski racing, I fought to make my childhood dreams come true and live them on skis until the age of 36!”
To date, Grange has contested 195 World Cup races and won nine (eight slaloms and a combination). He represented France at the Winter Olympics in 2006, 2014 and 2018 and the World Championships in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2021.
Torn ligaments in 2009, 2012 and 2019, as well as back problems, slowed Grange down in the course of his career. Injuries also kept him away from major events, such as the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2019 world championships. In winter of 2008-09, Grange earned the small crystal globe and season title for slalom.
Grange looks forward to spending more time with his six-month-old daughter and hints at reming involved in the sport.
“I dedicated my life to this sport, in detail, and it gave it back to me, giving me unforgettable moments! I feel ready to move on today, dad of a 6 month old baby girl, with future challenges! With a feeling of pride in having given myself the means to fully experience my sport and the happiness of having experienced much more than that! Skiing is my life, my passion and it will remain so!”