Sport: French Revolution

Emile Allais' one-track mind leaves visible traces—he is a skier. He grew up in the French Alpine village of Mégève, and there learned his skiing early. He raced all over Europe, won the 1937 downhill and slalom world's championships, coached the French Olympic skiing team for seven years. He fought World War II on skis. He even courted his wife at a ski meet.

Though he had studied under some of the world's greatest skiers (among them: the Austrian shepherd Anton Seelos), Emile was never quite satisfied with what he was learning. He began jotting down notes on new theories, would steal...

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