From the vault: Italy's legendary ski race coach Oreste Peccedi

snow action team 06.10.2013

Whenever we run promotional material for destinations and their promoters, or products, we add a tag line [Location/company X special promotion] so readers can be fully aware of that fact – which is one reason why, in a world of sponsored blogs and websites purporting to rate ski areas/hotels etc while simultaneously raking in commissions from the operators of them, you can rely on SNOWACTION articles for independent, unbiased opinion.

So this piece is about one of our advertisers, but not a promotion, just interesting fact.

I got to know Tania Peccedi when she advertised her Ski Italy programs last year, and was instantly impressed with her knowledge of the destinations she was selling. Anyone can launch a ski travel company to somewhere, but genuine in depth knowledge is something else.

In Tania’s case she’s so modest it was only by chance over a coffee at the Snow Expo in Melbourne this year I found out how come she does have an unbeatable background for selling you an Italian snow holiday – her dad, Oreste Peccedi, was Trainer of the Italian Men’s National Ski Team, now universally known as Valanga Azzurra, from 1968 to 1976, training the likes of Gustav Thoeni, Pierino Gros, Erwin Stricker, Herbet Plank, and Helmut Schmalzl.

During those 8 years the team achieved an impressive list of results:

5 overall World Cup trophies (4 with Gustav Thoeni and 1 with Pierino Gros); 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals won at the Olympic Games of Sapporo in 1972 and Innsbruck in 1976 and St Moritz World Championship in 1974; 41 wins and 82 places in World Cup races, including an exceptional result in Berchtesgaden, Germany, in 1974 where 5 Italians filled the first 5 places in the GS!

The guys he trained went on to train Tomba’s generation, so the links continue to the present.

Oreste was born 1939 in Bormio in the heart of the Italian Alps, where he still lives in a typical Alpine chalet. His entire adult life was dedicated to the world of skiing. Until 1968 he was a ski instructor in Bormio during winter and on the Stelvio glacier in summer as trainer of the Bormio ski club.

After leaving the Italian Ski Federation he worked for a ski boot company and ran an Italian ski magazine’s (la rivista Sci) ski equipment testing programs. In the late ‘70s, together with the Italian company Spm, he fine tuned and launched the innovative concept of flexible poles, which completely revolutionized the technique of competitive Alpine skiing.

In the past twenty years he spent some time training a group of passionate ‘Over 35s’ competing on the International Ski Master Circuit and now, at 73, he’s still travelling around the Alps taking part in ski races and winning several National titles.

Tania got off to a promising racing start too, but raising a family in Leichardt with her Australian husband these days is focused on them and her skitaly.com.au business.

So if you’re serious about skiing there you know who to call, and why – check them out at www.skitaly.com.au – Owain Price


Italian National Ski Team, 70s, Oreste Peccedi at right, courtesy Tania Peccedi / www.skiitaly.com.au

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Italian legends dept: Oreste Peccedi (centre) with Gustav Thoeni, Deborah Compagnoni, Alberto Tomba & Tino Pietrogiovanna courtesy Tania Peccedi www.skiitaly.com.au