A warm breeze to the "Cold War"
The first event in 1955 attracted 65 journalists from eight countries to Méribel-le-Allues in France
Gilles de la Rocque
ctrl + R (PC) ou
cdm + R (Mac)
In 1951, during a meeting of foreign ministers of the four super powers of the time in the Pink Palace in Paris, the idea of the Ski Club of international journalists was born. The press conference ended, reporters were taking their leave. No spontaneous exchange of opinions between the men in various political, sometimes opposing systems, yet all involved in the exercise of the profession. More than others, Gilles de La Rocque was stuck by this lack of communication. A fervent mountaineer and skier, he dreamed of being able to unite, in his favourite surroundings, journalists of many
nationswho would finally be
able to get together, relieved
of their narrow political
vocabulary and exempt from
all banality and chauvinism.
In January 1955, after 4 years
of patient and untiring work the
dream became reality and the first
meeting of theSCIJ was organized to
take place in Méribel-les-Allues (France).
There assembled 65journalists from 8 countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxemburg,
Switzerland, West Germany and Yugoslavia).
Discussion between East and West begins
The enthusiastic atmosphere created during
this meeting found its echo in 1956 at Sainte-
Croix-Les Rasses in Switzerland, where the participation was enlarged to 92 journalists
from 12 countries (Austria, Belgium, France,
Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg,
Poland, Switzerland, USA, West Germany
If at Sainte Croix - Les Rasses Gilles
de La Rocque's great idea was definitely
becoming accepted, the third meeting,
held in Kranjska Gora (Slovenia) in
Yugoslavia, was the real starting
point on profitable exchanges of view
points between pressmen, both from
the Eastern and Western hemisphere.
Ninety journalists from 13 countries met that year in Yugoslavia. Since then the meetings have taken place regularly every year.
Old peace horse retires - SCIJ keeps skiing on
Towards the end of 1966, Gilles de La Rocque decided to retire from his post as active president of the SCIJ. His choice for successor was Marcel Pasche, of Switzerland who, from the very first meetings at Meribel, had been an ardent promoter of the SCIJ.
Mr. Pasche presided over the SCIJ for eleven years. He invested our organization with statutes and technical rules and regulations which successfully channel and govern our booming association's gatherings and ambitions. These regulations were drowned up, debated and adopted in Lausanne in Sept. 1967, at the SCIJ's initial Congress.
The Lausanne Congress was followed by many others, in the course of which the organiszation's internal business had been carefully discussed. The International Gatherings, on the other hand, have given greater focus to skiing. The congresses offer an opportunity for less rugged countries to show how attached they are in the club spirit.
New meetings, new countries, new presidents
and finally - a female president
After Lausanne (1967), The Hague (1970), Budapest (1972), Wuppertal (1973), Knokke-Le-Zoute (1975), Bad Kleinkirchheim (1978), Luxemburg (1980), Prague-Roztez (1983), Deventer (1985), Jerusalem (1987), Sant Antonio-Ibiza (1989), Prague-Harachov (1991), Ljubljana (1993), South Bohemia (1994), Lausanne (1995) and Rovinj (Croatia 1998) hosted the SCIJ without any ski... Gilles' and Marcel's successors to the presidency have been René Langel, Switzerland (1977-1978), Josko Pirnar, Yugoslavia (1978-1984), Tore Johannessen, Norway (1984-1990), Dennis Redmont, USA (1990-1994), Anders Hellner, Sweden
(1994-1998), Beppe Erani, Italy (1998-2002), Ivana Suhadolc
(2002-2006). Miguel Aquiso,
Switzerland (2006-2014 ) and Frederick Wallace, Canada (2014-).
Thus, over the years, despite the
sometimes dramatic turn taken in world
events, the SCIJ has continued to grow,
the number of nations adhering to the Club is
at an all time record, the skiing competitions have
increased and national ski clubs have been formed in
National championships and regional meetings with foreign participation, and spring outings, have been added to the international programme and all these are now highlighted with extremely interesting roundtable conferences on the most up to date subjetcs.
Journalists from North, South, East and West now converse in a friendly and enriching manner. In Belgrade as in London, in Lausanne or Milan, Prague or Brussels, Paris or Moscow, Algiers or Montreal, journalists from all branches of the press, from foreign affairs to art and literary critics, photographers, sports writers and even a few ski specialists (who, by the way, are not always the best skiers) are represented in our Club.
To new horizons
In August 2006 another continent was found by SCIJ, when 50 lucky ones flew to Buenos Aires, the capitol of Argentine in South America. There was no Argentinian SCIJ club yet, but that didn't SCIJ from having a summer meeting there. The excellently organized event with tango school and horse opera in Buenos Aires and skiing in Bariloche and San Martin de los Andes assured the IC that the official winter meeting in the southern hemisphire could be held in Argentine in 2010, again in August.
However, another continent was yet to be entered by SCIJ, and in February 2010 some 150 SCIJ members flew to Morocco. Most of the activities took place in Marrakesh as the skiing condition in Oukaimeden at the Atlas mountains were not exactly what SCIJ members have been used to. But the truth is that we have been spoiled during the years and maybe used to too comfortable life.
In 2011 we returned to Canada and in 2012 to Asia, this time Turkey.