Lang, Serge

Área de identidad

Tipo de entidad


Forma autorizada del nombre

Lang, Serge

Forma(s) paralela(s) de nombre

  • Lang, Jean-Jacques

Forma(s) normalizada del nombre, de acuerdo a otras reglas

Otra(s) forma(s) de nombre

Identificadores para instituciones

Área de descripción

Fechas de existencia

June 6, 1920 - November 21, 1999


Jean-Jacques "Serge" Lang was a French alpine ski racer, sports journalist, and founder of the FIS alpine skiing World Cup. He was born on June 6, 1920 in Mulhouse, Alsace, in eastern France. He moved with his parents to Switzerland in 1921, where his father Albert became director of the French train station located in Basel. Lang learned to ski before the age of 7 in Markstein, in the Vosges Mountains with his father Albert and his mother, Friedl. He competed in ski races during his youth. During World War II, he remained in Switzerland and worked as a journalist in Basel, where he also founded a film festival named "le Bon Film" with his friend Peter Baechlin. He first began working as a journalist in 1940. After the war he covered the Nuremberg Trials in 1946, and, along with Ernst von Schenck, provided analytical commentary for the memoirs of Alfred Rosenberg, Nazi Germany's chief racial theoretician, who was executed in October of that year. As a correspondent for the leading French evening paper Le Soir, Lang also attended a variety of sporting events after reporting on the 1948 Winter Olympics at St. Moritz, especially alpine skiing and cycling. In the mid-1960s, he had the idea for a season-long series of ski races with a points system to determine a champion after being requested by former Tour de France and sportspaper L'Équipe director Jacques Goddet to "invent somethings which would help our readers to better understand the ski racing alpine circuit". A few months earlier, Lang had attended the very successful 'Nations Team Event' at Vail, CO, where the three best teams of the 1964 Olympics at Innsbruck had been invited by former US Alpine Director Bob Beattie to enter a newly launched team competition. It was such an exciting event, that Serge Lang was convinced afterwards it was time to greatly enlarge the horizon of alpine ski racing mostly limited to central Europe during the winter season. In December 1965, L'Équipe launched the first (unofficial) European ski circuit named "Trophée de L'Equipe", which was won by France's Marielle Goitschel and Austria's Karl Schranz. Lang, after discussing it with some of his friends (Bob Beattie, the US Alpine Director, and Honoré Bonnet, Head Coach of the French Ski Team) during a downhill training session of the famous "Hahnenkamm" races at Kitzbühel, Austria, in January 1966, decided that it should become a world tour. He choose to name it the "World Cup" after the football (soccer) world championships held in England in 1966, which was the first to be called the World Cup. That same summer, the ski World Championships were held in August for the first time in Portillo, Chile, during the Southern Hemisphere winter. This provided an opportunity for all the major figures in ski racing to come together to hash out the details of the proposed competition with a few skiers such as Frenchmen Jean-Claude Killy and Guy Périllat or Austrian Karl Schranz. The President of the International Ski Federation (FIS), Marc Hodler from Switzerland, agreed to support the new event which he personally presented to the press in Chile. The first (still unofficial) World Cup season began next winter with the men's competitions at Berchtesgaden, Germany, on January 5, 1967. The first overall winners at the end of that season were Nancy Greene of Canada and France's Jean-Claude Killy. The World Cup became an official event sanctioned by FIS the next spring during its Congress in Beirut, Lebanon. Marc Hodler became the first president of the World Cup Committee, serving until 1973. The alpine skiing World Cup soon became a huge success with ski racing fans, racers, organizers, and ski suppliers. Lang continued to guide its growth over the following decades, serving as president of the International Ski Federation's Alpine World Cup committee from 1973 to 1986. Serge also continued working as a sports journalist for Blick, La Suisse, 24 Heures, and L'Équipe, and founded the Association of International Ski Journalists in 1961. Lang wrote several books about ski racing and the World Cup, including the annual Ski World Cup Guide (popularly known as the "Biorama") with World Cup statistics and racer biographies, and the retrospective 21 Years of World Cup Ski Racing published in 1986. Serge Lang was married from 1944 to 1989 to German-born journalist Anneliese Lang, who strongly supported him at the beginning of his career. Anneliese Lang was a film critic and met Lang at Basel during the War while reporting on "Le Bon Film" festival for a German newspaper. After returning to Berlin, she flew out of Germany after finding out she was a suspect for the Gestapo. She returned to Basel after jumping from her train while approaching the station. She died from cancer in 1989. Serge lived his later years in Riehen, Switzerland, and died of a heart attack in Sternenberg, Haut-Rhin, France while writing his memoirs on November 21, 1999. His son, Patrick, is also a journalist covering alpine ski racing. The Lang legacy continues with two of his grand children, Manuèle (born 1974) and Philippe-Alexandre (born 1978) also working on the World Cup tour and cycling as reporters and as a cameraman. In 1991, three generations of the family worked at the Tour de France: both Patrick Lang and his then 16-year-old daughter worked for ABC Sports while Serge Lang covered the race for some of his usual newspapers.


Mulhouse, France
Basel, Switzerland
Markstein, France
Riehen, Switzerland
Sternenberg, France

Estatuto jurídico

Funciones, ocupaciones y actividades

Sports official
Alpine ski racer
Sports journalist

Mandatos/fuentes de autoridad

Estructura/genealogía interna

Contexto general

Área de relaciones

Entidad relacionada

Lang, Patrick (fl. 1990s-)

Identifier of related entity


Categoría de la relación


Tipo de relación

Lang, Patrick

is the child of

Lang, Serge

Fechas de relación

Descripción de la relación

Área de puntos de acceso

Puntos de acceso por materia

Puntos de acceso por lugar


Área de control

Identificador de registro de autoridad


Identificador de la institución

Reglas y/o convenciones usadas

RAD, July 2008 version. Canadian Council of Archives.

Estado de elaboración

Nivel de detalle

Fechas de creación, revisión o eliminación

Catalogued March 2019.
Revised March 2023.



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