On the occasion of the release of Robin Duvillard’s 1st book, Le ski de fond … en comble of the editions Les Passionnés de bouquins, I have the pleasure to present you this colorful story of which I had the honor to illustrate the cover. Never stingy with anecdotes, Robin opens up straight about his sport, cross-country skiing and the life of a high-level athlete.
But before telling you more about this book that I avidly devoured, I wanted to highlight this extraordinary discipline that is cross-country skiing, a discipline whose history is deeply associated with mobility in the pays d’en-haut, in these countries where the sun shines all day or sometimes only a few hours, of these countries where snow is not a distraction but a real inking with which you have to deal for several months.
The origins of cross-country skiing, or how to go from a prehistoric cave to the Olympic Games
island of Rødøy – Norway
This famous sculpture, vandalized in 2016, served as a model for the illustrations of the Lillehammer Olympic Games in 1994 and inspired a series of drawings representing the different major families of sports disciplines present at this Olympics.
For years, cross–country skiing remained a means of locomotion before becoming a sport. The first cross–country skiing competitions appeared in the 18th century in Scandinavia and Finland before spreading to other countries. The word ski, derived from an ancient Norwegian language meaning wooden board, was not introduced in France until the 19th century before being permanently entered into the French language with its publication in the Larousse in 1876.
These 100% Scandinavian competitions led to the introduction of cross–country skiing as an Olympic sport as early as the first Winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix.
Since the creation of international competitions, Norwegians, Swedes, Russians or Germans dominate cross–country skiing competitions and more generally Nordic skiing, composed of ski jumping, cross–country skiing, biathlon, a more recent discipline.
To discover the disciplines of Nordic skiing, click here.
The awesome news
There is a God of skiing in Nordic mythology in the person of Ill or Illr, adopted son of the legendary Thor and a goddess in the person of the giantess Skadi, married to a god of Asgard.
These gods are all 2 associated with hunting and winter. Traditionally represented with their usual attributes, they are also equipped with curious boards at their feet allowing them to move easily on water and snow.
If it was still necessary to prove it, these 2 gods show the importance of skiing in the life and daily life of the Scandinavian peoples. Invoking them was common on mountain trips and winter hunting.
Robin Duvillard's book, cross-country skiing ... in brief
Written by Robin Duvillard
The life of a high-level skier told by Robin in 360 pages
Illustrations by Faro
Drawings illustrating in a humorous way the life of a high-level cross-country skier
Cover by Lucie Llong
A painting to illustrate the cover of this book on cross-country skiing and the Olympic Games
Les passionnés de bouquins
A book released in December 2022 from Les Passionnés de Bouquins
Robin was never an athlete with his tongue in his pocket, committed and courageous, he showed it on the field and the tracks he spread for more than a decade. This story is a moment of sharing with those who have followed him of course but also with all those who wish to discover behind the scenes, what the life of a high-level athlete is.
Everything goes there, training, injury, nutrition, appointment with the doctor, doping control at an impossible time when you do not want to pee. He tells this story with unavoidable frankness, the decline of maturity and the words of a person who has been one of the actors of this system for years. With humor, sometimes with irony, he recounts his life as an athlete with crisp anecdotes in this moving testimony around a sport or rather his sport, the one that made him vibrate and will have marked him for life.
He tells his story with the support of book enthusiasts, a publishing house, anchored in the heart of his native region.
The publishing house
What better name for a publishing house than this one, book enthusiasts (les passionnés de bouquins) which alone illustrates the story behind this family success that began in 1880 a few hundred meters from old Lyon, the historic district of the capital of the Gauls.
First bookstore in the nineteenth century then publisher in the early twentieth, it is at the dawn of the twenty-first, the oldest bookstore in Lyon. The De Uffredi family, at the start of this bookstore, is the embodiment of this passion for books that has been transmitted for 4 generations until the grandson Guillaume de Uffredi who created in 2010, the editions Les Passionnés de bouquins extending the literary heritage of the family.
His signature, a shop in the heart of his region that Guillaume continues to value and promote through the books he publishes. His selection of manuscripts speaks of terroir, cities and actors, such as Robin Duvillard or other personalities, contributing to the influence of the magnificent Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Fictions, biographies, thrillers, children’s books, sports stories, the publishing house spares no subject to tirelessly extend the legacy of the Crozier bookstore in Uffredi and bring to life this quote that all book enthusiasts will certainly confirm.
Born in Isère in 1983, he is a French cross-country skier licensed to the Villard de Lans club, one of the high places of French Olympism.
A high-level athlete for more than 10 years, he participated in 2 Olympiads and won a bronze medal in Sochii with the French relay team and his teammates in the France team. the 2nd medal at the Olympics in cross-country skiing in history for the France team, an exceptional result, in a sport clearly dominated by the countries of the North where skiing is a way of life before being a sport.
This performance is also a founding act for the cross-country ski France team which has since won 3 new medals (2 in Pyeongchang in 2018 and 1 in Beijing in 2022)
Robin is now a consultant on Eurosport and entrepreneur by creating the company ZECAMP, a concept mixing tourism, catering and sport bein heard.
he beginning of a senior career and the first world championship
Participation in the Vancouver Olympics in Pursuit
Participation in the Sochi Olympics in the 50km (6th) and relay 4 x 10km (3rd) with the bronze medal.
Bronze medalist in the 4 x 10km World Championships, 8th in Pursuit and 11th in 15km Free.
End of international career
The disciplines of Nordic skiing
When you consider the difficulties of making a name for himself in a sport outrageously dominated by the nations of the north, it is not surprising that everyone took Morocco’s Samir Azzimani, the first athlete in the history of the Olympic Games to have participated in the Olympics in downhill and cross-country skiing, for a fool when he embarked on his second Olympic quest in Pyeongchang in 2018.
Another story to discover here: The exhibition sport in all its states