|Roles||Competed in Olympic Games|
|Born||20 December 1956|
|Died||11 November 2019 in Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland (GBR)|
Stuart Fitzsimmons started skiing on the dry slopes of Hillend near his home-town of Edinburgh. From there he progressed to the snow covered Cairngorms before venturing onto other European peaks, and beyond, as he became one of the best British skiers of the 1970s, taking part in World Cup events and competing at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.
Fitzsimmons won the slalom and combined to win the 1971 Kandahar Junior Championship when just 14-years-of-age. The following year he won the boy’s slalom title at the British Junior Alpine Skiing Championships as a member of the Scottish Ski Club. He won the first of four senior British titles in 1973 but could not defend his title the following year after missing the 1973/74 season following an accident in which he suffered a back injury in training. However, he returned and regained the title in 1975 and then won it for a third time in the Olympic year. Injury meant he could not defend his title in 1977 and in December 1978 he announced that after too many injuries he was retiring from competitive skiing. However, after sponsorship from some local businessmen he was persuaded to compete in the 1979 British Championships for a final time and he surprised many by winning his fourth title, becoming the first man to do so in the process.
After his eventual retirement, Fitzsimmons became a skiing coach, worked as a cameraman for the iconic BBC television programme Ski Sunday, and had his own production company, “Fitzi Films”. It was during his time at Ski Sunday that he became both innovative and controversial. Innovative in as much as he raced down the slopes alongside competitors armed with a camera and sound recording equipment (in the days before the use of lightweight equipment). His technique enabled viewers at home to feel as though they were on the piste and this played a large part in making the programme as popular as it was. However, this innovation also led to controversies, none more so than in a 1992 World Cup slalom race at Val D’Iserre. Fitzsimmons followed Alberto Tomba down the course and after crossing the finishing line, the Italian burst into a tirade of expletives saying the cameraman distracted him as he endured his worst finish in a slalom event in six years. However, this was not the first time such an incident happened to Fitzimmons, as he had previously collided with skiers on a couple of occasions during filming of the British Championships.
|Games||Discipline (Sport) / Event||NOC / Team||Pos||Medal||As|
|1976 Winter Olympics||Alpine Skiing (Skiing)||GBR||Stuart Fitzsimmons|
|Downhill, Men (Olympic)||32|
|Giant Slalom, Men (Olympic)|
|Slalom, Men (Olympic)|