The coordinator of the Biathlon National Competition series, former high-level biathlete and former team leader of the French World Cup team Christian Dumont died on Friday, August 6th, 2021 at the age of 58.
Christian Dumont, known to many as Dudu, an indispensable man and true guiding figure of the discipline for more than thirty years, succumbed to a heart attack on August 6th while he was taking a cycling trip with his wife at the foot of the famous Mont Ventoux, a stone's throw from the guest house where he had lived for about ten years.
A pioneer of French Biathlon, the native of the Doubs region, who was on the coaching staff of the French team for more than twenty years, was currently in charge of coordinating the national competitions. In this role, he was actively involved in discovering young talents and was a kind of father figure for all young people when he supervised them during training camps or at Olympic events such as the EYOF or YOG.
During his career as a biathlete, Christian Dumont was part of the first French relay team to win the World Cup in 1989, alongside Gilles Marguet, Thierry Gerbier and Hervé Flandin. He was an accomplished skier, a technically clean biathlete with a “very good engine.”
After ending his career in 1994, he coached the Chamonix-based military ski team before taking charge of the French men's team in 1998. He remained in this role until the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games while also serving as the team leader of the French World Cup Team. This was the start of a long adventure marked by ten years of success and medals. Highlights include the relay win at the Pokljuka World Championships 2001 by Gilles Marguet, Julien Robert, Raphaël Poirée and Vincent Defrasne; the Olympic Gold medals won by Vincent Defrasne and Florence Baverel at the OWG 2006 in Torino and by Vincent Jay at the OWG 2010 in Vancouver; multiple crystal globes won at the World Cup by Raphaël Poirée; the World Champion titles of Corinne Niogret, Sylvie Becaert, Sandrine Bailly and Raphaël Poirée; and the first of a long series of Olympic medals won by Martin Fourcade at the OWG 2010.
These successes were achieved with the help of Pascal Etienne, Jean-Paul Giachino, Stéphane Bouthiaux, Christophe Vassallo, Lionel Laurent and Thierry Dusserre, along with a whole staff of technicians and physiotherapists.
As a true biathlon enthusiast, Christian always defended the development of biathlon, always looking for the best developments possible to help train our young athletes and maintain our rank.
Christian was an exceptional being, capable of making us move mountains.
He left his mark on all the people who crossed his path. He had the exceptional ability to pull everyone forward in their stride.
He was a clever mix of passion, inexhaustible energy, high standards and rigor, which he communicated with his sparkling eyes, his sense of conviviality and his big, all-encompassing smile.
Christian was also a naturally perceptive observer and a keen listener, skilled at analysing situations while always presiding over an endless spring of innovative ideas.
Finally, Christian valued family and atmosphere above all, things that were essential to his success in breaking down walls.
With his passing, a significant part of French biathlon history has disappeared.
A guiding figure suddenly left us that Friday morning, a traveling companion for generations of athletes, coaches, colleagues, competition organizers, technical delegates, partners and media.
But we can rejoice in the inestimable luck we enjoyed in having this exceptional being by our side for all these years.
The whole ski and Biathlon family shares the grief of his family, his wife Françoise, his children Pauline, Clément and Romain, and his three grandchildren Axel, Elise and Louise.
Au revoir Dudu et merci mille fois / Goodbye Dudu, and thank you a thousand times