Ambassador for Europe!


February 19, 1977 - Switzerland

Born on February 19, 1977, in Chur, Switzerland, Gian SIMMEN was the first ever Olympic Snowboard Halfpipe gold medalist. He spent his childhood in the Davos and Arosa (Swiss Alps), and in 1989 he discovered skateboarding and snowboarding. One year later he participated in his first halfpipe competition. Gian won the Swiss national halfpipe championships in 1996.

Gian became a professional athlete at 19 years of age. In 1998, his first year as a pro, he placed 2nd at the World Cup, and 3rd at the European Snowboarding Championships. His career reached new heights in at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, where he won a gold medal. He continued to demonstrate his prowess, winning gold medals at the ISF World Championships in 2001 and 2002. In addition, he finished both seasons with the world title in hand. After an incredible 17 years as a professional snowboarder, Gian decided to retire in Davos.

The Swiss snowboarder now provides his snowboarding expertise to the television channel, SRF, as a host, winter sports expert, and announcer. Gian has a degree in marketing, and is a certified coach for Swiss Olympic, the number two training center for coaches in Switzerland. In addition, Gian supports the Laureus Foundation Switzerland. Through his commitment and involvement with the foundation, he helps to shape, through sports, a better future for children and adolescents.

World Snowboard Day is proud to have Gian SIMMEN as one of our ambassadors for this 10th edition!