January 2, 2017 / 7:16 PM / 9 months ago

Alpine skiing: Former Olympic champion Vuarnet dies - report

File photo: Former french ski champion Jean Vuarnet (C), and his sons Pierre Vuarnet (L) and Alain Vuarnet (R) leave Saint Marie-Madeleine church in Morzine January 6, after the funeral of his wife and son Patrick, surrounded by family and friends. Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Former Olympic downhill skiing champion Jean Vuarnet has died aged 83, French local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere reported on Monday.

Vuarnet, who won a gold medal at the 1960 Olympics, died of a stroke in Sallanches in the French Alps, the newspaper said.

He invented the aerodynamic ‘egg position’ used by ski racers and worked with optician Roger Pouilloux on the Skilynx lens that allowed enhanced perception of contrasts in white-out conditions, launching the Vuarnet sunglasses brand made popular by celebrities such as Miles Davis and Mick Jagger.

Vuarnet’s wife Edith Bonlieu, a former French ski champion, and their son Patrick were among the members of a cult, the Order of the Solar Temple, who committed mass suicide in 1994.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon

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