Raised in a farming family, Madeleine Berthod’s breakthrough year in alpine skiing was 1952, when she won her first of six Swiss national championships and attended the Winter Olympics for the first time. At the Games she was sixth in the downhill and the slalom and also competed in the giant slalom. Her next major international stop was the 1954 World Championships, where she won silver medals in the giant slalom and the combined. With the retirement of her compatriot Ida Schöpfer, who had taken the downhill and combined titles at the 1954 World Championships, Berthod was touted as the favorite for the downhill crown at the 1956 Winter Olympics and did not disappoint, winning by a margin of nearly five seconds ahead of teammate and silver medalist Frieda Dänzer. Berthod was also fourth in the giant slalom (tied with American Andrea Mead-Lawrence) and 17th in the slalom, and her accomplishments earned her the title of Swiss Sports Personality of the Year. She attended one more edition of the Games in 1960, finishing 9th in the giant slalom and 28th in the slalom, and then retired from active competition.