After suffering a fall from a serac on the North face of the Glacier Noir near the West Pass area of Pelvoux, France, on Thursday, May 30, former French alpine skier and 1984 Olympian, Michel Canac, died at age 62.

A slalom skier on the French team in the 1980s, Canac finished fifth in the 1982 World Championship combined in Schladming, Austria. Canac also represented France in the 1984 Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. Originally from Bourg d’Oisans, Canac settled in the Briancon area of the French Alps and taught skiing at ESF Serre Chevalier and became a mountain guide after retiring from professional skiing.


“Michel Canac was a legend, he marked his world,” said President of the Serre Chevalier Vallée Ski Club, Patrick Gelato. “It’s a big loss for French skiing.”

Witnesses to the accident notified local rescue crews but were only able to recover Canac’s body as the Frenchman succumbed to his injuries before rescue was able to arrive at his location. The Mountain Units of the National Gendarmerie are currently investigating the cause of the accident.

Funeral services for Canac will be held this Tuesday in Briancon.