As well as sponsoring the Swiss Ski Association and various competitions, Helvetia has been committed to athletes from different disciplines – including as individual sponsor – for many years. Through personal sponsorship, Helvetia promotes the athlete’s sporting career and, as a dependable partner, is on hand to help these talented young individuals plan their future. Through a careful, continuous process of cooperation, a high-calibre international ski team has been formed including top athletes such as the three Olympic champions Dario Cologna, Simon Ammann and Sandro Viletta as well as a large number of aspiring talents.
Ahead of the 2017/2018 season, the Helvetia ski team has now been expanded to 46 athletes from five nations. 34 of the team’s members are from Switzerland. By expanding its international activities in the world of skiing, Helvetia strengthens its image as a dependable Swiss insurance company in its key markets abroad. The following athletes are new to the team:
Upcoming talents join Michelle Gisin in Switzerland
Alongside her brother Marc, the youngest of the three Gisin siblings now sports the Helvetia emblem on her helmet and hats. As an all-rounder in the Swiss national team, Michelle Gisin is guaranteed to come up with a surprise or two. Last winter saw the 24-year-old celebrate the biggest success of her career by picking up the silver medal in the Alpine Combined event at the World Ski Championships in St. Moritz.
Marco Odermatt from Beckenried, aged just 20, is a major young hopeful in the Swiss Alpine ski squad. He became Junior World Champion in the Giant Slalom at Sochi in 2016 and also picked up the bronze medal in the Super-G. This winter sees him compete as part of the B Team.
Gilles Roulin won the Overall title in the European Cup last winter at the age of 22. This winter he will now be competing in the World Cup. The Downhill and Super-G specialist grew up in Grüningen, canton of Zurich, and is a member of the Lenzerheide-Valbella ski club.
Also signing up with Helvetia are Gian Luca Barandun, Yannick Chabloz and Désirée Steiner. His third placing in the Overall title of the Super-G in the European Cup last winter enabled Gian Luca Barandun, 23, to secure himself a place in the World Cup races. At just 18 years of age, Yannik Chabloz is a highly promising talent in the technical disciplines. In addition, 17-year-old Désirée Steiner has the potential to continue the success of Laurien van der Graaff and Nathalie von Siebenthal in cross-country skiing.
Team now includes biathletes in Germany
Among the Alpine athletes, Stefan Luitz follows in the footsteps of Viktoria Rebensburg. Luitz, 25, is a Giant Slalom specialist who has won a World Cup podium finish four times so far and is placed 8th in the current rankings.
In the shape of Erik Weick and Helene Hendel, Helvetia has also signed up two upcoming biathlon talents in Germany. Erik Weick is 21 years old and has so far competed mainly in junior competitions. Helene Hendel is 22 and a member of the Oberhof ski club based in the Thuringian Forest. Biathlon is an extremely popular type of winter sport in Germany, providing Helvetia with an attractive platform for strengthening its brand image in the German market.
Partnership with commentator in Austria
Nicole "Niki" Hosp has now given up her successful career as an active athlete, but continues to enjoy huge popularity as a commentator with Austrian broadcaster ORF. She makes an excellent brand ambassador for Helvetia in the Austrian market and can look back on an exceptional string of successes in all Alpine disciplines. For instance, she claimed no fewer than twelve medals in the World Championships and Olympic Games.
Also joining the ski team is Dominik Baldauf, a member of the Austrian cross-country skiing team. The 25-year-old has so far excelled primarily as a sprint specialist.
Boost from Italy
Luca de Aliprandini now joins Marta Bassino in the ski team. The 27-year-old Giant Slalom specialist from the Dolomites currently stands at number 16 in this discipline in the Fis rankings.
Speed specialist from Spain
Barcelona’s Julia Bargallo is another new member of the team. The 22-year-old speed specialist competes in the Downhill, Super-G and Giant Slalom events.
Some members of the Helvetia International Ski Team: Sandro Viletta Alpine SUI / Dario Cologna Cross-country SUI / Christoph Wahrstötter Ski cross AUT / Stefan Luitz Alpine GER / Mattia Casse Alpine ITA / Dominik Baldauf Cross-country AUT / Helene Hendel Biathlon GER (back, from left);
Erik Weick Biathlon GER / Marta Bassino Alpine ITA / Niki Hosp Alpine AUT / Nathalie von Siebenthal Cross-country SUI (front, from left).