There is one Alpine sport which even the most extreme skier would baulk at trying – the competition sport of ski jumping. But while this may be a sport for only the most daring, ski jumping in Courchevel has a long and proud tradition that is well worth exploring, even if you never plan to actually make the jump yourself. |
Ski jumping in Courchevel began back in the 1930s; by 1944 the Tremplin du Praz, a dedicated jumping hill was under construction. In fact, the tradition for ski jumping in Courchevel was so strong that when Albertville was awarded the Winter Olympics in 1992 it was quickly decided that Courchevel 1300 (known locally as Le Praz) would be the site for the Olympic ski jumping park.
The Olympic complex included four hills of various heights from K-120 (120 metres) to K-60 (60 metres) to be used both for training and competition, making it the premier site for the sport in France. There was also a cross-country stadium built in Le Praz as part of the Olympic arena, in order to host Nordic combined events as well.
No article about ski jumping would be complete without at least a passing reference to our own Eddie the Eagle Edwards; as he is in some small way a part of the history of the sport in Courchevel, I feel it’s permitted to mention him here.
In 2016 Eddie took four novice jumpers to Le Praz to train to jump from the 90-metre hill for charity. Thankfully, he also took two trainers from the French national team and the trip was very successful, raising a lot of money for Ski 4 Cancer.
A Trip to the Museum at Tremplin du Praz
Spend a fascinating afternoon wandering around the museum at Le Praz which outlines the history of ski jumping in Courchevel with documents, dramatic photographs and sporting objects and artefacts.
The museum is open Monday to Saturday (and during training Sundays) from 8am to 5.30pm. For more information contact the Courchevel Tourist Office on +33 (0)4 79 08 00 29.
Watch Jumpers in Action this Summer
Even when the snow has melted there is still an opportunity to watch the breathtaking aerobatics at Le Praz as it hosts the International Ski Jumping Grand Prix in August (13-14 Aug).
Two days of competition will include events on the 132-metre and 96-metre jumps by some of the leading athletes in the field. A programme of live music, fairground attractions and fireworks will make this a great event to visit as part of a short break to the Alpine region.
How to Get to Courchevel
The quickest way to get to Courchevel is to fly to either Geneva, Chambéry, Genoble or Lyon airport. From any of these airports you can book a private Shuttle Direct transfer and we’ll take you directly to your accommodation at the resort.
Let us know if you’ll have any equipment with you and we’ll make sure we send a vehicle big enough for you and all of your luggage.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re heading off to watch the ski jumping in Courchevel, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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