Damien wouldn’t leave his village for the world. At the age of 33 he belongs to a young generation committed to the defense of local territory and the contribution to its development.
«Les Contamines has a history; it is a living village” recalls the young man. ” Our elders have bequeathed us a legacy of which care must be taken”.
Son of a farmer, grandson of a wheeler, Damien took over the family farm while occupying the position of technical director at the French Ski School (ESF) in the village. These two complementary activities allow him to live and work on his native land, 365 days a year.
“When you’re a kid in Les Contamines, skiing is both a sport and a wonderful social link” explains the young man. ” We all know each other, meet up and have fun. When one can ski well, one experiences a feeling of freedom found in very few sports”.
It is, for this very reason, that Damien decided to transform his passion into a profession. “Knowing that I didn’t have the level to become a champion, I quickly turned my mind to teaching”.
At the age of 16, Damien joined the ESF as a trainee ski instructor. Four years later he graduated and became the youngest ESF instructor in France. At the age of 21 he left for Morzine, only to return to Les Contamines a year later. By 26, he was appointed Technical Director at the Ski School, his current position. Today he hardly has time to teach. He organizes the rota for the instructors and manages sports events in resort (World Cup Ski Cross etc.). He spends his days between the computer and the slopes.
“Our village has character and authenticity. Les Contamines is far from a dormitory for tourists, it’s a true village that must develop and progress”.
Photos : © Zir