By Sissi Macchetto
The Story of Leo Gasperl
Settings: Austria-Italy, 1912-1997
Leading Actor: “Angel of the Snow,” Leo Gasperl, one of the fastest man on ski in the 30’s 40’s , was the first coach of the Italian National Ski Team and pushed downhill skiing to new, extreme heights. He also acted in Luis Trenker and Leni Riefenstahl’s movies, he taught many royal families and international celebrities to ski, was a model and trend setter for ski fashion, a photographer and a writer.
Plot: While other skiing champions have come and gone, none displayed the elegance of Leo Gasperl. His name can’t be separated by downhill skiing which was born with him in 1931 when in Saint Moritz he set the first record ever, descending at the speed of 136 Km/h. But Leo was not only a sportsman: the book written by Fulvio Ferrari , released in the late nineties, explores the life of this legendary champion and his great innovations through beautiful archival images. Friend of the great architect Carlo Mollino, with whom he devoted his winter time to the inventing of a new style of skiing , Leo wrote the book Discesismo in 1939 and filmed a movie about it soon after. Icon of style and trend setter he developed with his wife a fashion line and special clothes for better jumping and downhill skiing. Teacher and friend of celebrities, socialites and royal families,the likes of Italian Prince Umberto di Savoia and the Aga Khan, his name is linked to the renowned ski area Cervinia and the economic boom after the war that turned skiing into a mass sport .
Leo Gasperl with French aristocrat, socialite and fashion designer Jacqueline de Ribes, as photographed by Vic Skrebneski in Cervinia, Italy, late 1950s
Photos via Pinterest
To Know more: Leo Gasperl by Fulvio Ferrari
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