The last most of us heard of Skier jean-Claude Killy, he was winning everything in sight. He mined Grenoble for a remarkable three gold medals and won two straight World Cups (one with a perfect score). In 1967 he took 16 of 20 races and was the FIS world ski champion in Portillo in 1966.
This year Jean-Claude turned professional, a conversion he managed with as much ease as if he had always been one. Under the facile guidance of Manager Mark McCormack (handler of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus), Killy ever since has been schussing through a hail of new-minted gold—about $2 million worth of contracts for the next three years. For Ladies' Home Journal, Killy will model ski clothes and do a series of bylined articles. He will write a National Newspaper Syndicate column which is expected to appear in 150 to 200 papers. He also is under contract as Skiing magazine's racing director.
As a ski-design consultant, Killy is working for Head Ski Co., helping create a new line, which may reach the public next season. Clairol will merchandise a Killy Skin Conditioner Series for men, "a line for young people in the Killy image: young, athletic, adept, tough and very outdoorsy." Lange Boots employed Killy with his size 9 (wide) feet as technical consultant for their plastic competition boot. Norski is marketing Killy nylon sunglasses and molded plastic "360°-vision" Killy goggles and another pair with aerodynamic vents. Mighty-Mac Killy ski jackets "will truly represent the greatness of this man through the kind of apparel he would need in his activity."
But Killy has been busiest of all for General Motors. On behalf of all Chevrolet products, he has filmed two television properties. One, an hour-long biography to be titled Killy le Champion, has Killy water skiing on Lake Mead, discoth√®queing at Nepentha in New York, bicycling in Central Park, surfing in the Pacific, bullfighting in southern France, sky diving in California and jockeying a dune buggy around Nevada. The other, a series of 13 half-hour shows featuring Jean-Claude skiing around the world with pretty girls, has already sent Killy as far away as Australia and New Zealand, where he skied the Tasman Glacier.
Recently SI caught Killy hiding out at his home mountain. Killy intimated he sometimes thinks he would like to stay right there at Val d'Is√®re and let the outer world get along with fewer radiations of charisma. He also admitted that after a week or two he might miss the excitement, if not the money.
Seizing him in this second mood, we prevailed upon him to write the first by-lined article to appear under his name since his skiing successes of 1967-68. This account of how you too can have The Killy Style begins on page 50.
"For a long time people said that I skied as if I were recovering from disaster," Killy says. In fact, some observers have implied, he looks about to tumble down the mountain, snowballing into a great white sphere with arms, legs, poles and skis sticking out at random angles. Actually, Killy's style, far from being a mere personal idiosyncrasy, is based on sound principles and is now being widely imitated. We believed you would think Killy himself the one best able to explain how to do it. He does just that in this issue.
KILLY ON THE WATER AT LAKE MEAD