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Anyone remember the Killy impersonator?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A queston about our first day of skiing brings back a great memory from Elyria, Ohio from around 1970. Turns out that this guy shows up at the local Holiday Inn wearing a a beret and driving an MG. Looked thin and athletic, had a French accent. Said he was Jean-Claude Killy. The Holiday Inn put "Welcome Jean-Claude Killy" on its markee. Word spread like wildfire. Two of my buddies who were really connected to the hipster world heard about it. (Alas, I still hear about everything after it happens.) My buddies went down and joined the party, which was pretty out of control. They got totally s***faced, as did everyone else. "Killy" had lady folk all over him. My friends said he was "totally f***in' cool." Of course, he was comped for everything. We were all so impressed. About a year later we read in Sports Illustrated that this was not the real Jean-Claude, but an impersonator who was going to serve a few years in federal prison for an extesnsive "comped" cross country tour where he impersonated the big man himself. Did anyone else out there have this guy grace their town?
post #2 of 16
I once met a David Bowie impersonator basically doing the same thing in Maui.
post #3 of 16
I remember a guy was arrested for pretending to be Dave Davies of The Kinks. He'd been doing it for a long time, too.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Wear a beret...

...and carry a piece of baguette ?
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, a friend of mine if FLA ran into this Dave Davies impersonator of The Kinks, who put on some sort of festival, got all the gear and food on credit, and then left thorugh the back door with all bills unpaid. Not a great way to live, but it's gotta be fairly cool being treated as a celeb.

Btw, no, this Killy guy didn't have a baguette ... just a beret. I'm sure had I gone over the Holiday Inn, I would have been fooled, too.
post #6 of 16
I just returned from skiing in BC and saw this post and have to wonder about the mayor of Elyria, he sure must have a short memory.

In August 1968 car dealers in the US who handled a French car model put up money to bring Jean-Claude Killy over here to do some PR work. He visited car dealers around Ohio including the Elyria/Lorain area, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, etc.

I shot the attached pictures on Aug. 22, 1968 and went to two parties given by the dealers (being the typical press-type freeloader) and I remember the unassuming, rather shy person who barely sipped on his drink and was polite to a fault, no drunkards at the parties but the food was great.

In one shot he is talking to Tom Place, the Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer who covered skiing, the others are just proof sheets and prints. If indeed some guy in a baret showed up somewhere claiming to be Killy we press people would surely be all over him.

Well, anyhow, it was a good story anyway.







post #7 of 16
Those pictures of Killy are geat. I remember reading an interview with Killy where he said his brother was the best powder skier in Val Desere (spelling) France skiing on a pair of skis that had the tails cut off. I assumed the bindings were still mounted at midpoint! Have no idea why anyone would do this and how a ski modified this way would be effective in powder.
Killy was a great ambassador for the sport.He certainly appeared to exude nothing but class. I wonder if he even skis today.
post #8 of 16
Yeah, he was nice and ashamed at the deception practiced in the Olympics, where, at the time all skiers were supposed to be unpaid amateures. His occupation was listed as a border guard in France, but he had no idea what a border guard did. He fought hard to eliminate the hypocracy.

.....Ott
post #9 of 16
I wonder if he even skis today.

I've heard he does not ski much anymore, but rather snowboard, as he hurted his back in the 90's.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR
I wonder if he even skis today.

I've heard he does not ski much anymore, but rather snowboard, as he hurted his back in the 90's.
Wow! I bet he has a really smooth riding style, his skiing was so fluid, loose, relaxed.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns
Those pictures of Killy are geat. .
Thanks Ott. I remember Tom Place from my days as a junior racer. This board frequently amazes me.

If any of you get to Val Desere (I can't spell it either), be sure to stop in Killy Sports
post #12 of 16
Quote:
If any of you get to Val Desere (I can't spell it either), be sure to stop in Killy Sports
Val d'Isère, people ! Where JCK grown up, and where his family indeed own Killy sports, one of the most expensive ski shop in France...
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by philippeR
Val d'Isère, people ! Where JCK grown up, and where his family indeed own Killy sports, one of the most expensive ski shop in France...
The whole place is pretty expensive. Four days there cost about what a seasons pass at Bachelor does. Of course one can drive up there from out of town but it is a bit out of the way. Great skiing though, in the Espace Killy.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
For Ott Gangl,

Actually, whoever the mayor of Elyria was, he might have had a short memory. I do not believe that Elyria, btw, ever had a Nobel winner. But I do recall my friends meeting this impersonator. The impromtu party was superb, at least from the prespective of a couple of young guys. I do remember reading a Sports Illustrated article about this guy getting convicted for a whole slew of these comped visits to small places. Probably the best thing I remember was that the real Killy was a class act. He did a fine job setting up and running the '92 Olympics in Albertville.
post #15 of 16
Nightcat, I don't really daubt that there was an imposter of Killy, your post jogged some memories so I put up the pictures of the Killy I met. The imposter must not have done it with fanfare because the AP and us would have really been alerted...I'm glad your friends had a good time, never pass on a party, no matter what the occasion...

.....Ott
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
For sure, Ott!
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