March 26, 2023

Raised in a permanent winter, Tessa Worley (33) ended an exceptional career marked by two world championship titles (2013 and 2017) on Sunday in Soldeu (Andorra), leaving a void in the France team.

At the other end of the world, Mount Lyford, a tiny village lost in the north of the South Island of New Zealand, a two-hour drive from Christchurch and the first hospital. About thirty years ago, a Frenchwoman and an Australian created the ski lifts and the ski school of the resort where they live six months a year, during the winter, with their two children, including a very young blonde. good at sliding.

“Mount Lyford was really an adventure, smiles Tessa Worley. The station was in the middle of nowhere, very wild. And we didn’t even live in the village but in a completely isolated house, which we reached after a half hour of 4X4 ​​on stony roads. I appreciated this life lost in nature, going up to the station, going skiing, going to the small school and its three classes.”

With her family, Tessa, born on October 4, 1989 in Annemasse, crosses the globe every six months between New Zealand and Haute-Savoie, to live in an endless winter.

“This education has forged my character, believes Worley. Traveling, adapting, we moved a whole mess every six months. Having different landmarks, feeling good in several places, I’m comfortable with that.”

– More than 17 years on the circuit –

Without knowing it, the young girl is preparing for her future on the Alpine Skiing World Cup circuit, her suitcase always ready, between two hotels, in the car or in the halls of an airport.

Out of early childhood, Worley follows his mother and settles permanently in France. She joined the federation and the high level at 15 in Albertville. With her friends Taïna Barioz, Anémone Marmottan, later Nastasia Noens, she formed a happy band.

The champion quickly hatched in the World Cup, won for the first time in Aspen (United States) in November 2008, at only 19 years old and settled among the best, a circle she never left, with 16 victories. on the circuit in addition to his two world titles.

At 33, her career is an exception: no other skier has had her longevity, more than 17 years on the world circuit, while the careers of most champions end early.

At the crossroads of generations, Worley skied against legends Tina Maze, Lindsey Vonn and Anna Fenninger before being pitted against Viktoria Rebensburg and Lara Gut-Behrami for years, all the way to the best skier in history Mikaela Shiffrin.

– End of an era –

After her debut with a bang, her trajectory was meteoric until December 2013, a few months after her first world title, when a serious right knee injury in Courchevel deprived her of the Sochi Olympics the following year.

Other injuries, less serious, have punctuated her career, but the blue-eyed blonde has come back from each difficulty with a rage to win that is difficult to detect in the sweetness of her public appearances.

For several seasons, Worley was almost the only French skier to play for victories regularly, a pressure that she has always fully assumed, while her teammates Coralie Frasse-Sombet and Nastasia Noens also stop, in addition to saying goodbye to the men of another figure, Johan Clarey.

At the time of leaving, the question of his succession arises, while a new generation gently points the tip of its spatulas, notably led by Marie Lamure.

“I leave serene, happy, very proud of all these years, she explained to Eurosport. I made my way to the end, I want to live something else, I will remain a passionate skier. “

During all those frantic years on the icy slopes, Tessa Worley never saw Mount Lyford again. “After my career, I will go back, that’s for sure,” she promised AFP in 2021.

It’s time to rediscover its roots, deeply rooted in the snow.

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