Interneige 1967

Entrants Winter 1967:
Switzerland (CH) • France (F)

Presenters of International Heats / Commentators:
Georges Kleinmann and Claude Evelyne (SSR - CH)
Guy Lux and Simone Garnier (ORTF - F)

International Referees:
Gennaro Olivieri
Cesare Vampa

National Producers:
Paul Siegrist (SSR-SRG - CH)
Jean-Louis Marest and Claude Savarit (ORTF - F)

National Directors:
Paul Siegrist and Jean-Max Vénuti (SSR-SRG - CH)
Roger Pradines (ORTF - F)

Produced with help from:
Roger Argenville, Colette Beaudot, Jean Beaudot, Pierre Berhardier, Pierre Bernet, Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Pierre Bertrand, Jean-Marie Blanc, Louis Blanc, Charles-André Bujard, René Cesareo, Albert Clou, Henri Combescure, René Cornat, Michel Cuenin, Bernard David, Paul Delorme, Roger Dricourt, Carlo Duttlieb, Michel Favet, Claude Gervais, Pierre Gillian, Luc Grimaud, Daniel Gromian, Georges Grosjean, Arnaud Guebe, Jean Guignard, Michel d'Helberre, Michel Hastig, Paul Idier, Charles Iquevelly, Lucien Laplace, Christian La Vallee, René LeBas, Christian Joris, Jean Martinet, Patrick Mellier, Tony Mirales, Jean-Pierre Morel, Yguel Nidam, Jean-Pierre Perrin, André Philippin, Gilbert Picard, Robert Prost, Emile Quoirot, Jean Rillan, Joseph Robillard, Robert Rosier, Robert Rudin, Henri Rurat, Jeaninne Salomon, Rolf Schmidt, Paul Sportis, Maxime Valaise, Jean Van Der Beck, Pierre Vulliem

Produced by: SSR (CH) and ORTF (F) • Made in Black and White

Key:
Winter International Heats
 
l = Qualified for Winter International Final / l = Heat Winner
Winter International Final
l = Winter International Final Trophy Winner

CH & F

Interneige 1967

Heat 1

Event Staged: Sunday 29th January 1967
Venues: Skipisten (Ski Slopes), Engelberg, Switzerland and
Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), La Mongie, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
SSR (CH):
Sunday 29th January 1967, 1.30-2.40pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Sunday 29th January 1967, 1.30-2.30pm (Live)
Not transmitted in Great Britain

Weather Conditions:
Switzerland - Cold and Overcast
France - Cold and Overcast

Presenter Locations:
Simone Garnier (F) and Georges Kleinmann (CH) in Engelberg, Switzerland
Claude Evelyne (CH) and Guy Lux (F) in La Mongie, France

Referee Locations:
Cesare Vampa in Engelberg, Switzerland
Gennaro Olivieri in La Mongie, France

Neutral Jury in Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgium:
André Rosat (Chairman) [Genève], Paule Herreman [Belgium],
Mario Verdant [Canada], Mireille Delanoi [Monaco] and Marie-Claude Rose (Scoregirl)
(No interpreter on this jury)

Playing Surfaces:
Switzerland - Snow
France - Snow

Teams: Engelberg (CH) v. La Mongie (F)

Team Members included:
Engelberg (CH) -
André Ande, Bernaud Jaeger, Stefan Schneder, Peter Zandere;
La Mongie (F) - Jean-Pierre Calles, Robert Deverre, Jacques Galliar, Paul Gascar, Guy Labatte.

Games: The Skiing Pugilists (in Switzerland), The Parallel Slalom (in France), The Caterpillar Trail (in Switzerland), The Ski High Jump (in France), The Space Rocket’s Fuel (in Switzerland), Ski Compendium (in France), Game of Questions (The Crescendo) (at both venues).

Game of Questions - Round 1:
Opposition Task
(in Switzerland) -
A skier must descend a slalom course of 8 ski-gates within 20 seconds. Any further attempts being made would result in 1 second being deducted from the time in each case.

Game of Questions - Round 2:
Opposition Task
(in France) - Details unknown.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 GQ1 GQ1 GQ2 GQ2
Points Scored
CH 2 2 2 0 2 0 ? --- --- ?
F 0 0 0 2 0 2 --- ?

?

---
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
CH 2 4 6 6 8 8 ? ? ? ?
F 0 0 0 2 2 4 4 6 9 9

Result

 Team

Points

-
-

CH • Engelberg
F • La Mongie

8 (*)
4 (*)

(*) Final Result Unknown, see Additional Information

The Host Towns and Venues

Engelberg, Switzerland
 

A wintry scene over Engelberg and its Abbey

 

Engelberg, a resort town and municipality in the Swiss canton of Obwalden, has a population of just under 4,000 inhabitants with around 21% of this number being foreign nationals. In the Middle Ages, Engelberg was known for the educational accomplishments of its Benedictine monastery, the Engelberg Abbey, whose school was well-known and regarded throughout the country.

From the middle of 19th century, Engelberg became internationally known as a vacation resort and spa (mineral water, milk serum and fresh air cures), with many hotels being built by the tourism pioneer families of Cattani, Hess and Odermatt. As the resort’s popularity grew, a new wider road was built between 1872 to 1874, and the Stansstad-Engelberg electric railway opened in 1898. Hiking and other mountain sports developed at the end of 19th century and Engelberg first held a winter season in 1903-1904.

The town is surrounded by the Alps, creating very steep terrain and the average altitude of Engelberg is 1,020m (3,350ft).The highest point in the borders of the town is Mount Titlis at 3,239m (10,627ft). In recent years, Engelberg has become something of an off-piste mecca with many winter visitors, particularly from Scandinavia, coming specifically for its many challenging descents, but is also visited as much for skiing as for its clean air. With its combination of modern sports facilities and alpine location, Engelberg is a magnet for both summer and winter tourism, with the closest large cities being Luzern and Zurich. Many Bollywood films requiring a Kashmir/snowy mountain setting are shot at Engelberg, due to the risks of filming in the disputed region of Kashmir. To this end, the area is consequently very popular with Indian tourists.

In the centre of the town is the beautiful Engelberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1082 by Blessed Conrad, Count of Seldenburen.


La Mongie, France
 

The ski-slopes of La Mongie

 

La Mongie, located in the Haute-Pyrénées département of the Midi-Pyrénées region of south-west France, lies at an altitude of 1800m (5,905ft) and just 20km (12.5mi) from the Spanish border and is situated below the Col du Tournamalet, the highest road through the Pyrénées mountain range.

It is a popular destination offering visitors a variety of winter activities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiles and hiking in snowshoes. It is the largest skiable domain in the Pyrénées including the Super Barèges station. Over an area of 100km² (38.6mi²) there are 69 pistes and 43 lifts including poma tows and several four and six-man chair-lifts. In the summer, cycling (on and off road) and the use of trials motorcycles is also popular. The Tour de France has regularly passed through La Mongie on its passage over the Col du Tourmalet since the inclusion of the Pyrénées in 1910, and three tour stages have terminated in La Mongie village, most recently in 2004.

The village has two small supermarkets, a tourist information centre, gift shops and many restaurants and ski rental shops. Also popular with tourists is the cable car access to the 2,872m (9,422ft) Pic du Midi de Bigorre, on the summit of which is a 19th century observatory. Work on the observatory started in 1878 and was completed in 1908. Observatory equipment has been in place since 1905 and in 1963 NASA funded the installation of a telescope for photographs of the Moon in preparation for the Apollo missions.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Skiing Pugilists

The first game - ‘The Skiing Pugilists’ - was played in Switzerland and was an almost identical copy of a game which had been played in Interneige two years earlier at Villars-sur-Ollon. At the bottom of the course was a passage enclosed by 11 podiums on either side each with a box on top. On the countdown, a skier wearing boxing gloves had to descend the slope and negotiate a ski-jump and then he had to pass through the passage of podiums and knock of as many pairs (those opposite each other) of boxes as he could whilst travelling through. Each team had three runs and the time taken to complete each of these had to be within 15 seconds otherwise the run would be nullified. After this, a second element of the game came into play which could assist the teams in achieving a higher total. A skier had to descend another slope in order to negotiate a ski-jump and then he had to keep aloft as long as possible above a distance-marked course before landing on the ice. The landing area was divided into three sections each with increasing values which would be used to multiply their original score. The nearest section to the bottom of the slope was valued at 1pt, the middle section valued at 2pts and the furthest section valued at 3pts. The Swiss team participated first and their skiers all completed their runs within the 15 seconds limit and scored an aggregate total of 7 pairs (4 + 1 + 2) of boxes. Their next skier landed in the middle area (2pts) which gave them an overall total of 14. The French team fared worst in the first part of the game, and although all their skiers also completed the course within the allotted time, they only achieved an aggregate score of 5 pairs (3 + 2 + 0) of boxes. However, there was still a chance of beating the Swiss if their skier could hit the furthest section of the landing area. But akin to their achievement in the first section, they again fared worst than their opponents and hit the nearest section (1pt) of the landing area and their score remained at 5. The Swiss had taken first blood in this heat 14-5 and took the first 2pts to lead the competition.


Game 2 - The Parallel Slalom

The second game (the first in France) - ‘The Parallel Slalom’ - was played over three runs of increasing number of competitors, with each run being played in unison. On the first run, the two teams, each comprising two skiers on one pair of skis, had to descend the slope negotiating gates and the first to the end of the course were declared the winners. The second run saw each team comprising three members on the skis and the third run saw each team comprising four skiers. However, each run had to be completed in no more than the 1 minute duration permitted, and this appeared to be easy enough to achieve after watching the first run. Both teams descended the course with flawless runs, with the French team of La Mongie passing the finish line ahead of the Swiss in just 16.66 seconds, and were leading the game 1-0. The second run was a slightly different story and saw the French trio tumble to the ground after just 8 seconds followed by the French team 2 seconds later. It was now a different race, as both teams had to recompose themselves, pick up some momentum and cross the finishing line within the 60 seconds deadline. The Swiss team were the first to get up and in motion, and finished the course in 37.65 seconds, three seconds ahead of the French. The game was level at 1-1 and the result was now dependant on the final run of four skiers. The Swiss took an early lead but the French reduced the deficit and overtook the Swiss at the bottom of the course, but the Swiss were not to be outdone and came back and crossed the line just 1/10th of a second ahead of the French. The Swiss had won their second game and were now leading the competition 4-0.


Game 3 - The Caterpillar Trail

The third game (the second in Switzerland) - ‘The Caterpillar Trail’ - featured eight skiers attached to each other and huddled close together to represent a caterpillar. On the countdown, the octet began their descent down the course around corners and through arches, finishing with a steep drop down the slope. The teams could improve their time with a second element to the game which saw a team-mate wearing a cloth wing descending a course over a ski-jump. The time taken to complete this element would be deducted from the original time. However, to prevent the teams using foul play, the skier had to descend the slope at a reasonable speed in order that he passed a marked point before landing from the ski-jump. The French team participated first and everything appeared to be going smoothly until the team began descending the drop, when after 41 seconds, four of their skiers tumbled to the ground bringing all but the leading two with them. The team recomposed themselves, but by now were all separated from each other and all they could do was to make their way to the finish line individually to get a time. The eighth player finally crossed the line to give the team a time of 1 minute 10 seconds. The second element of the game saw the French skier tumble after landing from the ski-jump and the team were unable to improve on their time. The Swiss participated next and although they had recorded a slower time before the final descent, the team completed the course without mishap in just 46 seconds. The Swiss had already won the game but nevertheless, the second element was played and their skier finished his task without mishap in 13 seconds. With the Swiss team’s time reduced to 33 seconds, they had won their third consecutive game and were awarded another 2pts. The Swiss and were now leading the French 6-0.


Game 4 - The Ski High Jump

The fourth game (the second in France) - ‘The Ski High Jump’ - was an exact copy of a game that was played at the same venue during the 1966 series of Interneige, and it was to last for over 22 minutes and would cause the programme to overrun the scheduled slot, resulting in the final 10 minutes of the programme not being archived to film. Guy Lux stated before the start of the game that the bar would start at 4.90m (16ft 1in) and would rise by 20cm increments as the rounds progressed. He also stated that on the last occasion this game was played, the bar had risen to a height of 5.60m (18ft 4ins) - after which the game was stopped for safety reasons. Thankfully, the producers had learned a lot from the injuries sustained to the previous participants, and had piled a high mound of loose snow beyond the bar. The first thirteen rounds passed without incident and with the bar now raised to 7.50m (24ft 7ins), the French became the first team not to clear the bar. However, Interneige stalwart Paul Gascar was on hand to clear the bar on the team’s second attempt, and with the Swiss also clearing the height, the game went into its 15th round. The next round continued without incident but on the 17th round with the bar at a height of 7.90m (25ft 11ins), the Swiss players failed to clear the bar on their first and second attempts, but fortunately for them their third player cleared it and the game continued. However, before the next round could continue there was a protest by the French team claiming that the rules had not been adhered to as there could be only be two attempts at each height. Guy Lux asked referee Gennaro Olivieri for his comments and he stated that he understood that there should be three attempts but needed to hand it over to the neutral jury for their verdict. Chairman André Rosat stated that the rules did state that two attempts were permitted and therefore the points should be awarded to La Mongie. The other members of the jury agreed and the French had finally scored some points and had closed the deficit to 6-2.


Game 5 - The Space Rocket's Fuel

The fifth game (the third held in Switzerland) - ‘The Space Rocket’s Fuel’ - was similar in design to that of one played in Grindelwald in the 1965 series of Interneige. On the countdown, a competitor had to ski down an obstacle course holding two buckets of water (representing rocket fuel). On the way he had to negotiate a springboard, a tunnel and small hillocks before reaching the end of the course. After passing the finish line he had to pour any ‘fuel’ remaining in the buckets into the tank of the rocket which lowered under the weight towards a fuse. Once this had been completed, a second competitor repeated the game and this continued until the weight of the rocket’s tank touched the fuse, causing black smoke to bellow out from the base of the rocket, which in turn made the tip of the rocket explode skywards, sending hundreds of small paper flags in to the air and downwards over the watching crowd. The French team participated first and following three runs of the course, the smoke began to bellow out at 2 minutes 56 seconds. However, when the time was announced it had somehow reduced to 2 minutes 51 seconds! The Swiss team participated next and despite a slight mishap on their third run when their competitor stumbled and lost some of his ‘fuel’, they were faster on all three runs and set the rocket alight in just 2 minutes 20 seconds. However, this time when the result was announced the time was given as 2 minutes 27 seconds! Despite this, the Swiss had won their fourth game and once again widened the gap to 6pts, leading the French by 8-2.


Game 6 - Ski Compendium

The sixth game (the third in France) - ‘Ski Compendium’ - was a simple game played over three rounds, involving competitors partaking in various activities whilst descending the slope. The first round with a time limit of just 25 seconds, involved a competitor throwing balls for a team-mate to catch in a large elongated net, whilst both were descending on either side of a designated course. The French team participated first and completed the course in 22 seconds having caught 7 balls in their net. Although the Swiss team equalled the time taken, they had only caught 5 balls. La Mongie were leading 1-0 on the game. The second round had a time limit of 45 seconds and featured a skier ‘wrapped’ in rubber tyres of varying size. On the countdown he had to descend the slope along with a team-mate and ‘undress’ himself of the tyres and consequently pass them to his team-mate to ‘dress’ himself. The Swiss team participated first and although the team completed the course in 35 seconds, they inadvertently dropped one of the tyres during their descent. Incredibly, the French team finished the course in the exact same time but they had all their tyres intact. The French were leading 2-0 on the game, and despite the outcome having already been decided, the third round was still played out, and it featured a very strange tug-o-war on snow. On the countdown, four skiers from the competing team had to pull an opposing team member down the slope and across the finish line. However, the opposition player could knock down large cubes on his way down, thus adding 1 second to the competing team’s time for each one. The French team participated first and finished the course in 1 minute 5 seconds, but with an additional 3 seconds penalty from the opposition, the team ended with a total time of 1 minute 8 seconds. The Swiss team participated next and after 1 minute 50 seconds of play, they had still failed to complete the course. The game was ended prematurely with the score being 3-0 in the French team’s favour. With their second win of the competition, the French had reduced the deficit once again to 4pts with the overall scores standing at 8-4 in favour of the Swiss.

Game of Questions

The jury deemed that the Game of Questions commenced in Engelberg and the format for this year’s round was slightly different to that of the previous year’s Interneige. This year there was no envelope chosen, up to a maximum of five people could participate (instead of just two) and the question could be answered as many times as possible until a correct response was given within 20 seconds as opposed to a single response within 15 seconds in 1966.

The local mayor chose the 1pt option, which the team answered correctly. However, due to the overrun of the fourth game, the film recording from the French television archive stopped at this point and the opposition task and the remainder of the programme is unable to be viewed. The reason for this was that back in the early days of ‘live’ television the film recording did not always preserve the material that went beyond the prescribed timeslot. Therefore, the final outcome score is open to debate until confirmation can be sourced from other media. However, with the Game of Questions being played over two rounds and the possibility that the teams were able to score + or - scores over both these rounds, we can deduce that there are a possible 72 outcomes to this competition! There is also the possibility that Engelberg could have been beaten by La Mongie dependent on the value choices made by the mayors, the responses given by the ‘intellectuals’ and the success rate of the competitors in the opposition tasks!

Returning Teams and Competitors

La Mongie competitors, Jacques Galliar, Paul Gascar and Guy Labatte had previously participated for the team in the 1966 series of Interneige. Paul Gascar had also participated as a competitor for national rivals La Plagne in the restaged final heat the same year.

Additional Information

Whilst the opening introductions to the programme were being made, a parachute display team were seen high in the sky heading for the venue site on the ski slopes. Although the first to arrive landed correctly on the slope itself, the most accurate landed right in front of the presenters and was promptly interviewed by French presenter Guy Lux.

Following the introduction of the neutral jury, the programme was then handed over to Georges Kleinmann and Simone Garnier in the alpine resort of Engelberg in central Switzerland, with viewers being greeted with the deep bass tones of alpine horns and teams of huskies pulling sleighs.

An article in La Gazette de Lausanne published in December 1966 suggests that Engelberg were to face a French team from Saint-Nizier in this competition. This had changed by the time of staging and the listings magazine Télé 7 jours for the week of broadcast confirmed La Mongie as the opposing team.

Made in B/W • This programme may exist in European Archives
(an incomplete recording is held in French archives)

 

CH & F

Interneige 1967

Heat 2

Event Staged: Sunday 5th February 1967
Venues: Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), Champéry, Switzerland and
Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), Les Rousses, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
SSR (CH):
Sunday 5th February 1967, 1.30-2.40pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Sunday 5th February 1967, 1.30-2.30pm (Live)
Not transmitted in Great Britain

Weather Conditions:
Switzerland - Unknown
France - Unknown

Presenter Locations:
Simone Garnier (F) and Georges Kleinmann (CH) in Champéry, Switzerland
Claude Evelyne (CH) and Guy Lux (F) in Les Rousses, France

Referee Locations:
Cesare Vampa in Champéry, Switzerland
Gennaro Olivieri in Les Rousses, France

Neutral Jury:
Unknown

Playing Surfaces:
Switzerland - Snow
France - Snow

Teams: Champéry (CH) v. Les Rousses (F)

Team Members included:
Les Rousses (F) -
François Alemi, Bernard Tangelais.

Games: The Knight’s Slalom (in Switzerland), Vikings, The Café Waiters (in France), Ski Jumping Hoops (in Switzerland), Rugby Match on Skis (in France), Bicycle Slalom (in Switzerland), Fireman’s Gymkhana (in France), Game of Questions (The Crescendo) (at both venues).

Game of Questions - Round 1:
Opposition Tasks
Details unknown.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 F • Les Rousses l l

 CH • Champéry

-
-

The Host Towns and Venues

Champéry, Switzerland
 

Snow-covered rooftops at Champéry

 

Champéry is a village and ski resort located in the district of Monthey in the Valais canton. For more than 150 years Champéry, lying at an altitude of 1,050m (3,445ft) and with a permanent population of only around 1,300 (23.0% of which are resident foreign nationals), has been one of the foremost tourist destinations in Switzerland, charming visitors from all over the world.

Everything started after the village became independent from the Val-d'Illiez municipality in 1839 and with the opening of the luxurious Hotel Dent-du-Midi in 1857. In 1969, Champéry became one of the founding villages of the Portes du Soleil ski area and resort, which today covers an area of 39km² (15mi²). The majority of this area (66.1%) is used for agricultural purposes and forestation, whilst another 30.3% is mountainous and unproductive. The remaining 3.6% is classified as settled (buildings and roads).

The resort itself has 194 ski lifts and over 650km (400mi) of ski slopes, and it is in the Guinness Book of Records as being the largest linked international ski area in the world. The Champéry - Planachaux cable-car (which can carry up to 125 passengers) and the new 6-seater chairlift in Grand-Paradis take skiers to the Portes du Soleil recreational area, at an altitude of 2,000m (6,600ft). The ski slope at Pas de Chavanette - often simply called Le Mur Suisse (the Swiss Wall) - is one of the steepest in the world. Although it is only a kilometre long, the descent covers a difference in altitude of nearly 400m (1,312ft), with gradients of up to 50 degrees!


Les Rousses, France
 

The ski resort of Les Rousses

 

Les Rousses, with a population of just over 3,000 inhabitants, is a commune of the Jura département in the Franche-Comté (Free County) region in Eastern France. Situated at 1,107m (3,632ft) above sea level, the village of Les Rousses is located at the boundary of the watershed of the rivers Rhône and Rhein. The rains that flow down the eastern part of the church roof drain into the Lake of Les Rousses, then into the Orbe and eventually into the Rhein, whilst those falling on the western side drain into the river Bienne, a tributary of the Rhône. The village marks the border with Switzerland and is subjected to a mountain climate with very harsh winters.

The name of Les Rousses probably comes from Les Rotz meaning ‘The Rocks’ in the local dialect of Provençal. This theory however is uncertain and other local beliefs include that the word means ‘redheads’ pertaining to the colour of the game that is hunted in the region. Agriculture was the preferred occupation of the area in the early 1900s, with the village having four fruit and cheese collectives and co-operatives, where farmers brought their crops and milk to be sold. This milk would eventually be turned into the local Comté and Morbier cheeses.

Two forts, Fort des Rousses and Fort du Risoux, were built in the late 19th century to defend the valley against the risk of invasion by hostile powers passing through Switzerland. However, the two forts quickly became obsolete and were just used as barracks and training centres and never really in a military role. The cellars of these forts now play a more sedate role and are used for storing stacks of the local cheeses for up to two and a half years until maturity. Today, Rousseland(e)s, the name for the local inhabitants, earn their living mainly from tourism and the daily commute into neighbouring Switzerland.

Made in B/W • This programme may exist in European Archives

 

CH & F

Interneige 1967

Heat 3

Event Staged: Sunday 12th February 1967
Venues: Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), Leysin, Switzerland and
Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), Valberg, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
SSR (CH):
Sunday 12th February 1967, 1.30-2.40pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Sunday 12th February 1967, 1.30-2.45pm (Live)
Not transmitted in Great Britain

Weather Conditions:
Switzerland - Cold and Sunny
France - Warm, Sunny and Windy

Presenter Locations:
Simone Garnier (F) and Georges Kleinmann (CH) in Leysin, Switzerland
Claude Evelyne (CH) and Guy Lux (F) in Valberg, France

Referee Locations:
Cesare Vampa in Leysin, Switzerland
Gennaro Olivieri in Valberg, France

Neutral Jury in Bruxelles/Brussel, Belgium:
André Rosat (Chairman) [Genève], Diane Lange [Belgium],
Mario Verdant [Canada], Jean-Pierre Cournie [Monaco] and Marie-Claude Rose (Scoregirl)
(No interpreter on this jury)

Playing Surfaces:
Switzerland - Snow
France - Snow

Teams: Leysin (CH) v. Valberg (F)

Team Members included:
Leysin (C) -
Gilberte Auget, Claude Bernaise, Andreas Eftioux, Cristian Moue, Eric Uitnere;
Valberg (F) - Jean-Paul Bourdoin, Bernard Boutarde, Pierre Coutrey.

Games: The Capstan Tug-o-War (in France), The Coming of Zorro (in Switzerland), The Suspended Skiers (in France), Jumping the Chalet (in Switzerland), Over the Jumps (in France), The Downhill Carriages (in Switzerland), Game of Questions (The Crescendo) (at both venues).

Game of Questions - Round 1:
Opposition Task
(in France) -
A skier must descend a slalom course of 8 ski-gates carrying a floral bouquet within 18 seconds. Any further attempts being made would result in 1 second being deducted from the time in each case.

Game of Questions - Round 2:
Opposition Task
(in Switzerland) - A skier on a mono-ski must descend the course within 16 seconds. Any further attempts being made would result in 1 second being deducted from the time in each case.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 GQ1 GQ1 GQ2 GQ2
Points Scored
CH 2 1 2 1 2 2 -1 --- --- 3
F 0 1 0 1 0 0 --- 3

3

---
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
CH 2 3 5 6 8 10 9 9 9 12
F 0 1 1 2 2 2 2 5 8 8

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

 CH • Leysin l

 F • Valberg

12
8

The Host Towns and Venues

Leysin, Switzerland
 

Snow-covered rooftops of Leysin

 

Leysin is a municipality in the Aigle district of the Vaud canton in Switzerland. Located at 1,260m (4,134ft) in the Bernese Alps, it is a sunny alpine resort village at the eastern end of Lake Geneva.

In the early part of the 19th century the village was better known for its sanatoriums that dealt with tuberculosis. Today, its spectacular Alpine views across the Rhône Valley towards the Dents du Midi invite year-round mountain sports and recreation.

The village of Leysin and the neighbouring hamlet of Veyges are designated as part of the Inventory of Swiss Heritage Sites, a 1981 Ordinance of the Swiss Federal Council implementing the Federal Law on the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage.

Leysin has an area of about 18.57km² (7.17mi²), of which 6.48km² (2.51mi²) or 34.9% is used for agricultural purposes, and 6.91km² (2.67mi²) or 37.2% is forestation (with only 3.4% being used for agriculture, e.g. orchards). Of the rest of the land, 1.43km² (0.55mi2) or 7.7% is settled (buildings and roads), 0.04km² (9.9 acres) or 0.2% is either rivers or lakes and 3.67km² (1.42mi²) or 19.8% is unproductive land.

The majority of the population (56%) speaks French, with English being second most common (11%), German (3.5%) being third and Italian (1.2%) being fourth. In the most recent census, it was found that just 1 person spoke the ever-decreasing Romansch language!


Valberg, France
 

The ski-slopes and resort of Valberg

 

Valberg is a purpose-built ski resort located at 1,500m (4,921ft) above sea level in the Alpes du Sud region of south-east France.

A little more than an hour’s drive from Nice, the resort was opened in the 1930s, and is one of France’s original ski resorts, having its first ski-lift installed in 1936. Today there are 52 pistes totalling 90 km (56 miles) in length and with 21 lifts in total (chair and surface) the resort offers skiers a 416m (1,365ft) of vertical descent. Many of the pistes run down through wide, shady gorges and this helps preserve the snow later into the season and is very attractive, as the rocks feature spectacular hues of red, green and yellow. The whole ski area has invested heavily in snow-making over the last 10 years, boasting over 300 cannons covering 80% of the runs, These need cold weather to run and are not to the taste of the environmentalists or to some tax-payers who subsidise the work!

During the summer months, when 90% of the resort is abandoned, the area is a haven for hikers, horse riders and even would-be pilots. Visitors to the area during the summer are also treated to various craft shows and fairs where they can learn to weave baskets or watch sheep being shorn whilst taking in the fresh mountain air.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Capstan Tug-o-War

The first game - ‘The Capstan Tug-o-War’ - was held in France immediately after the introductions, and featured five pairs of opposing skiers descending the mountain at regular five-second intervals. At the bottom of the course there was a large capstan - a vertical-axled rotating machine used mainly on ships to apply force on ropes or sails - and as each of the skiers reached the bottom they had to take up their position on their side of the capstan and push against it in order to rotate it and force their opponents backwards. A straightforward game which had a total duration of 2 minutes appeared to end in stalemate with neither team being able to complete their task. However, referee Gennaro Olivieri announced that the Swiss team from Leysin had moved forward by 45cms and were deemed the winners. The Swiss had defeated the French on their home soil and led the competition 2-0.


Game 2 - The Coming of Zorro

The second game (the first in Switzerland) - ‘The Coming of Zorro’ - was introduced by Simone Garnier suitably attired in a one-piece ski outfit and ankle-length boots, and was an enjoyable game to watch. At the top of the course there were four brigands and at the bottom of the course was a damsel, who had been tied up with ropes on a heavily-weighted sled. The sled in turn was attached to a rope that had been placed a round a pulley wheel halfway up the course. On the countdown, the first of the brigands descended the course negotiating a few ski gates in order to reach a table on which a number of pistols had been placed. The brigand then had to fire one of the pistols at four wooden Zorros in order to burst one of their heads, which were in the guise of balloons. Once a balloon had been burst, the brigand could then pick up the end of the rope attached to the sled and begin to descend the course in order to raise the sled up the slope. Whilst he was doing this, the second brigand repeated the game and eventually all four of them would be descending the course together raising the girl to the top, in order for an explosion to occur as the sled reached its quarry. However, the competing team had only 1m 35secs to achieve their goal, because after this time, a real ‘Zorro’, complete with foam-rubber horse, would begin to descend a bumpy slalom course on the opposite side of the slope, and it was his aim to reach the bottom of the course before the other team had managed to pull the sled to the top. Played out with traditional Wild West style music, the French team competed first and lost time after their first two brigands fell flat on their faces during their descent to the table. These mishaps permitted the Swiss Zorro to cross the finishing line before the team were able to get the girl to the top of the course. The Swiss team competed next and their first brigand made a complete disaster of the game when could not burst the Zorro’s head, and it took him 11 attempts before he achieved his goal. By this time, the clock had moved on to 1 minute 14 seconds and the Swiss team had no chance of completing the game before the French 'Zorro' was released from the top of the slope. The game eventually ended in a tie and both teams were awarded 1pt each and the scoreboard showed the Swiss leading by 3-1.


Game 3 - The Suspended Skiers

The third game (the second in France) - ‘The Suspended Skiers’ - was a somewhat light-hearted game and one which was played out by competitors attached to a steel cable suspended 4m (13ft 1in) above the course by means of elasticated rope. On the countdown, a competitor standing on a small raised podium at the start of the course, hurled himself off and then had to move down the wire using just the potential energy attained with a bouncing action and a pair of ski poles. The team that moved furthest down the wire in one attempt would be declared the winner. A very short and uneventful game saw each competitor’s score being beaten on each progressive run and with only 2 runs by each team, the Swiss team ended as victors and were awarded another 2pts to give them a lead of 5-1.


Game 4 - Jumping the Chalet

The fourth game (the second in Switzerland) - ‘Jumping the Chalet’ - like the previous game, was very short and uneventful. Played over four rounds, the tasks demanded of the competitors became increasingly more difficult as the game progressed. On the first round countdown, a skier was released and had to make his way down a short course, up a ramp and then over the roof of an actual chalet. On the other side was a marked line which the skier had to clear on his descent. With both team’s attempts proving successful, the game moved into the second round. The game was repeated but this time they had to break through a large paper panel embossed with the Swiss resort’s name raised above the chalet before landing on the other side. As the game progressed further, the number of ‘layers’ of paper panels which had to be broken through increased. After the fourth round, and with both teams completing them successfully, both teams were awarded 1pt each and the Swiss continued to lead the competition by 6-2.


Game 5 - Over the Jumps

The fifth game (the third in France) - ‘Over the Jumps’ - was similar in design to that of the previous one in Switzerland and was played over three rounds. The course was made up of four small raised ramps in front of which were wires with two balloons attached. As the skier jumped the ramps he had to avoid touching the wires and dislodging the balloons. As the game progressed the height of the wires were raised by 20cm (8ins) per round. The first two rounds were completed without any mishap, but the third round saw the French team become entangled in the last of the four wires and dislodged both balloons. With the Swiss competitor clearing all four ramps, the 2pts were awarded to the team and they now led the French by 8-2 (despite the on-screen scores showing 6-2!).


Game 6 - The Downhill Carriages

The sixth game (the third in Switzerland) - ‘The Downhill Carriages’ - was based on the Belle Époque (beautiful era) period of optimism, peace, new technology and scientific discoveries in France during the late 19th / early 20th century. It was played over five rounds but was slightly delayed at the beginning, as one of the Swiss competitors could not be found. However, after this the game began and in the first round featured four courtiers on skis from each team transporting a young prince on a litter down the slope. During their descent, both teams suffered setbacks with tumbles and competitors losing grip of their litter, but it was eventually won by the French team of Valberg and they led the game 1-0. The second round featured two courtiers from each team transporting a marchioness in a sedan chair down the slope. A clean run by the Swiss team ensured that they won the round and drew the game score to 1-1. Following the Swiss victory, the French team’s sedan chair finally arrived over the finish line minus one of the courtiers and with the marchioness holding on for dear life tucked down on the floor of the chair with just her grasped hands showing over the top. The third round featured a dandy from each team on a ski-bob being guided by his valet and ended with another overwhelming win by the Swiss to lead 2-1 on the game. The fourth round saw yet another victorious run by the Swiss as their mariner on a pommel-horse shaped seat, descended the slope and crossed the line first. They were now in an unassailable lead on the game with the scores standing at 3-1. Despite this, the fifth and final round was played and unlike the others before it, was played individually by each team. It featured a man in his underwear sitting in a bath-tub on skis, which he had to steer and stop by means of a rudder and brake from inside the tub. The Swiss team went first and completed the course without mishap in exactly 19 seconds. The French team however failed to finish the course after their bath-tub hit trouble and their player was sent spinning from it. With their fourth consecutive win, the Swiss won the game 4-1 and were awarded another 2pts and led the French by 10-2 in the competition overall.


Game of Questions

With the scores confirmed by the neutral jury, the competition returned to Leysin for the first round of the Game of Questions. The mayor opted for a 1pt question and the ‘intellectuals’ failed to give a correct response within the allotted time on the fourth round. With a 1pt penalty the Swiss led the French by 9-2. The French mayor opted for the 3pt question and their ‘intellectuals’ went one better and answered their first five questions correctly, whilst the Swiss opposition failed to complete their task on the fifth attempt in the now-reduced 14 seconds. The French were awarded 3pts and had closed the gap overall to 9-5 and there was now a glimmer of hope that they could win the competition. However, it was all dependent on the question value choices of the respective mayors and responses given in the second round.

The second round began with a little controversy reminiscent of an incident at the second semi-final of Jeux Sans Frontières in 1965, when Guy Lux asked the question before confirmation of the option value had been announced. Jury chairman, André Rosat interrupted Guy Lux after the team had correctly answered the question but was assured by him that a 3pt option had been chosen. The Swiss opposition could not complete their task in the second round and the French team were awarded another 3pts. The gap between the teams was now just 1pt with the Swiss leading 9-8 overall. The Swiss mayor, also opted for a 3pt question, which meant that the French could still win, but it was all dependent on the ‘intellectuals’ response and the competitor completing the task. However, it was not to be as the French opposition failed at the first hurdle and failed to complete the task. The Swiss team were awarded 3pts and had won the competition 12-8.

Additional Information

This heat opened in the French ski resort of Valberg with Guy Lux introducing the local dignitaries whilst on-screen there was an unusual departure for Interneige / Jeux Sans Frontières whereby the screen was split in half horizontally to show a panoramic scan of the mountains on the upper half, whilst the bottom section showed a local marching band attired in French Napoleonic uniforms entering the arena ahead of the teams.

After the first game and following the introduction of the neutral jury and confirmation of the scores, the programme was handed over to Swiss presenter, Georges Kleinmann located in a cold but sunny Leysin, whilst a ski display team descended the slopes to the sound of local choristers belting out traditional alpine tunes.

Made in B/W • This programme exists in European Archives

 

CH & F

Interneige 1967

Heat 4

Event Staged: Sunday 19th February 1967
Venues: Patinoire d’Ycoor (Ycoor Ice Rink), Ycoor, Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
and Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), Les Houches, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
SSR (CH):
Sunday 19th February 1967, 1.30-2.40pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Sunday 19th February 1967, 1.30-2.45pm (Live)
Not transmitted in Great Britain

Weather Conditions:
Switzerland - Snowing
France - Cold and Overcast

Presenter Locations:
Simone Garnier (F) and Georges Kleinmann (CH) in Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
Claude Evelyne (CH) and Guy Lux (F) in Les Houches, France

Referee Locations:
Cesare Vampa in Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
Gennaro Olivieri in Les Houches, France

Neutral Jury in Lyon, France:
André Rosat (Chairman) [Genève], Paule Herreman [Belgium],
Mario Verdant [Canada], Jacques Malatie [Monaco] and Marie-Claude Rose (Scoregirl)
(No interpreter on this jury)

Playing Surfaces:
Switzerland - Ice
France - Snow

Teams: Montana-Vermala (CH) v. Les Houches (F)

Team Members included:
Montana-Vermala (CH) -
Jean-Claude Chaulideron, Sérge Dequet, Johnny Glettig, Gary Perren;
Les Houches (F) - Guy Bouchaté, Jean-Paul Cagére, Jean-Claude Pou, Cristian Perrand

Games: Equestrianism on Ice (in Switzerland), Flight of the Bumblebee (in France), Spin and Go (in Switzerland), From Top to Bottom, No Matter What (in France), The Cream Gateaux Bakers (in Switzerland), On The Way Down (in France), Game of Questions (The Crescendo) (at both venues).

Game of Questions - Round 1:
Opposition Task
(in Switzerland) -
An ice skater must pick up speed and jump over a block of 6 polystyrene cubes (3 cubes x 2 cubes) without touching any of them with his feet. Any further attempts being made would result in the block being increased by an extra row of 2 cubes each time.

Game of Questions - Round 2:
Opposition Task
(in France) -
A skier must carry a 12kg bundle of hay over his shoulder and descend a slalom course of 8 gates within 20 seconds. Any further attempts being made would result in 1 second being deducted from the time in each case.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 GQ1 GQ1 GQ2 GQ2
Points Scored
CH 2 0 2 2 2 1 -1 --- --- -1
F 0 2 0 0 0 1 --- -3

3

---
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
CH 2 2 4 6 8 9 8 8 8 9
F 0 2 2 2 2 3 3 0 3 3

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

 CH • Montana-Vermala l l

 F • Les Houches

9
3

The Host Towns and Venues

Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
 

The Ycoor open-air ice rink of Montana-Vermala

 

Montana-Vermala, located at an elevation of 1,500m (4,900ft) in the Sierre district of the Valais canton of Switzerland, is actually one of two resorts, the other being Crans-sur-Sierre, that make up the combined resort of Crans-Montana. However, for all intents and purposes, they function as one.

The combined resort has a population of around 2,500, with 27.8% of the population being resident foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has changed at a rate of -5.1% mainly due to migration.

Most of the population (81.7%) use French as their first language, with German being the second most common (5.4%) and Italian third (4.7%). Mainly popular with affluent Italians, the skiing is good (best for beginners and intermediates), but the shopping, eating and drinking are even better. The resort claims to be on the sunniest plateau in the Alps, and indeed the snow is often lacking, but the views over the Rhône are superb. Every September, the resort of Crans-Montana hosts the European Masters golf tournament.


Les Houches, France
 

The ski resort of Les Houches

 

Les Houches is a commune and ski resort in the Haute-Savoie département of the Rhône-Alpes region of south-eastern France. Located 6km (3.7mi) from the larger resort of Chamonix, it has a ski domain which extends from an altitude of 950m (3,117ft) up to 1,900m (6,233ft). The skiing combines long descents through tree-lined slopes, with impressive views of the Mont Blanc massif and the Chamonix valley.

The village is twinned with the Russian villages of Sochi and Krasnaya-Polyana, which have both been chosen by the International Olympic Committee to assist organise the Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

The pistes of Les Houches are regularly used for international events most notably the 'Kandahar' run, which is used annually for the Men's Downhill World Cup Ski Championships. Les Houches provides a training ground for the French National Ski Team and also for the Ski Club of Great Britain. The skiing area consists of 1 international black run, 12 red runs, 5 blue runs and 4 green runs, cross-country trails, and two snow parks. Extensive artificial snow coverage is provided by a new network of 67 snow cannons covering approximately 0.20km² (20 hectares). There are nursery slopes at Le Tourchet in the centre of the village itself, a Jardin du Neige for very young children skiers next to Lac de Chavants, and a new nursery area at the top of the Prarion lift.

On the top of the mountain there is a 25m statue of Jesus Christ located on a rocky outcrop, facing the majestic panorama of Mont Blanc which was inaugurated in August 1934. The resort’s first cable-car, La Belle Vue, first opened for service in 1936 and is still in full service today.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Equestrianism on Ice

The programme immediately went into the first game - ‘Equestrianism on Ice’ - which was played in two sections with the amalgamated points from each half deciding the overall winner of the game. The first section featured four skaters from each team donned in foam rubber horse costumes. On the countdown, the eight horses were released by the starter and it was a simple task of making three circumnavigations around an obstacle and hurdle laden course. Each horse would be given a points value equal to the position that they crossed the finishing line, i.e. 1pt = 1st place, 2pts = 2nd place etc. The winning team of this section would be the one whose horses totalled the lowest aggregate score. The French team finished in positions 1, 4, 6 and 8 giving them a total of 19pts, whilst the Swiss finished in positions 2, 3, 5 and 7 giving them a total of 17pts. The Swiss were leading in the game by 1-0. The second section featured four pantomime horses with mounted chevaliers holding lances. On the countdown, the horses were released and they had to circumnavigate the same course but this time without the hurdles. After completing two laps of the course, the chevaliers had to hit a target displaying their national flags in order to obtain a position. The Swiss finished in positions 1 and 3 giving them a total of 4pts, whilst the French finished in positions 2 and 4 giving them a total of 6pts. Winning the game 2-0, the Swiss team were awarded the 2pts and were leading the competition by 2-0.

Following the confirmation of the score and introduction of the neutral jury, the programme was handed over to Guy Lux in a very cold Les Houches.


Game 2 - Flight of the Bumblebee

The second game - ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ - was played in France to the strains of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov’s music of the same name. It featured competitors dressed as bumblebees descending the slope utilising three different items of winter sports equipment. The first round saw competitors sitting on a luge and negotiating a course of large flowers whilst passing through three ‘houses’ along the way. The second and third rounds utilised the same course, but competitors descended the slope on skis and ski-bobs, respectively. The first to participate were the French and their competitor descended the slope in 39.0 seconds. This was followed by his Swiss rival who descended the slope in a slightly slower time of 39.6 seconds. The first round was won by the French and they led 1-0 on the game. The second round on skis was much faster and saw the Swiss competitor cross the finishing line in 22.6 seconds. The French competitor however, crossed the finishing line in 22.4 seconds and brought the scores level to 1-1 on the game. The final round on ski-bobs saw the French descend the slope in 26.6 seconds, whilst his Swiss rival completed the task in 25.1 seconds. It appeared that the Swiss had won the game by 2-1 with their second consecutive victory. However, it appeared that there may have been an infringement to the rules (confirmation is uncertain as the audio link was lost at this point in the programme) and referee Gennaro Olivieri reversed the result and declared that the French had won the game. With the team being awarded the 2pts, the French had levelled the competition 2-2.


Game 3 - Spin and Go

The third game (the second in Switzerland) - ‘Spin and Go’ - was a variation of a game that had been utilised before in previous Interneige programmes. At one end of the ice rink was a capstan which had four competitors standing behind on one side and a fifth lying face down on a luge holding a rope attached to the other side. At the other end of the course were six opposition members standing on small cylindrical podiums. The idea of the game was simple and all the team had to do was to revolve the capstan in order to send the player on the luge sliding across the ice in order to knock down as many of their opponents as possible within four attempts. The French participated first and their opening two attempts saw their players score nothing. However, their third attempt proved more fruitful and saw two of the opposition dislodged from their podiums. The fourth French attempt, like their first two, ended with a zero score. The teams swapped places and the Swiss faired slightly better after knocking down one opponent on each of the first and third attempts. However, victory was assured after local hero Gary Perren knocked down a further opponent on the final attempt. Winning the game by 3-2, the Swiss team were awarded the 2pts and were now leading the French by 4-2.


Game 4 - From Top to Bottom, No Matter What

The fourth game (the second in France) - ‘From Top to Bottom, No Matter What’ - was played over three rounds and was one of the rare Interneige games to feature female competitors. The first round saw two arm-in-arm females from each team on skis descending the slope, whilst negotiating gates and rotating continuously as they went. Following a tumble by the French couple, the Swiss team won the first round and were leading 1-0 on the game. The second round saw two male competitors wearing hats facing each other on a single pair of skis and during their descent had to change the hats as many times as possible but they had to complete the course within 50 seconds. The Swiss team went first and completed 29 hat changes before crossing the finishing line in 43.6 seconds. The French team suffered another tumble in this round and could only manage 25 hat changes before crossing the line in 46.3 seconds. The Swiss were now leading the game by 2-0 and with one round remaining, victory was already secured. In the third round, three skiers were attached by ropes to a large metallic tin in which sat a fourth competitor and the idea was simply to get down the slope in the quickest time. Despite having already secured the points, the Swiss team swept the board and crossed the line in pole position and won the game 3-0. With their third victory of the competition, they were now leading the French 6-2 overall.


Game 5 - The Cream Gateaux Bakers

The fifth game (the third in Switzerland) - ‘The Cream Gateaux Bakers’ - was played individually by each team and was very entertaining for the assembled crowd during its closing stages. It featured two bakers at opposite ends of the ice rink, each attached to a large elasticated rope which stretched up to about 7/8ths of the length of each half of the rink. On the countdown, the bakers had to time their runs so as to meet in the middle of the rink in order for a gateau to be passed from one to the other. All collected gateaux had to be placed onto a table at the other end of the rink. The Swiss team were very confident on this game and successfully passed all five of their gateaux in exactly 2 minutes. Although the gateaux were made from strengthened cardboard, they had been topped with artificial cream for effect. The Swiss ‘receiver’ took great delight in sampling a portion from each of the five gateaux collected, as he transported them to the table. However, it was a completely different story for the French competitors, and apart from their first attempt, neither of them appeared to have the strength and the ability to time each others runs as accurately as the Swiss team had shown. This resulted in the French team only being able to pass one gateau successfully to the end of the rink. The Swiss team had won their fourth game out of the five played and were now leading the French by 8-2.


Game 6 - On the Way Down

The sixth game (the third in France) - ‘On The Way Down’ - was played over four rounds and was similar to the previous game played at this venue and again involved competitors descending the slope in different guises. The first round saw competitors dressed in smoking brick chimney costumes and this was won by the French by just a few inches. With this victory, they were leading the Swiss 1-0 on the game. The second round saw four competitors holding aloft a bed on which lay a fifth competitor wearing pyjamas. As they descended the slope, the competitor on the bed had to leap over four high ‘hurdles’ and land back onto the bed as it passed underneath. The Swiss participated first in this round and completed the course in 27 seconds. The French team went second and had a disastrous run when their competitor on top of the bed kept falling to the ground after he had cleared the hurdles. After clearing the third hurdle, he again tumbled to the ground, but this time into the path of one of the leading skiers holding the bed and banged his head heavily on the compacted snow. Course officials ran in to check on his condition, but thankfully he was only shaken with his pride being damaged. The Swiss, having again won the round, were now leading 2-0 on the game. The third round saw the teams return to playing in unison and featured two eight-rung step ladders on skis secured open by wooden planks. On the countdown, one competitor climbed the ladder to stand astride either side, whilst a team-mate guided the ladder down the course through gates. Despite several tumbles by both teams, it ended in a very close finish with the French crossing the finish line first and bringing the score to 2-1 in the Swiss team’s favour. The fourth round was even more daring when the teams had to descend the slope with four of their members sitting on benches around a large wooden table whilst being pulled by a team-mate. The Swiss went first and finished the course without mishap in a time of 32.8 seconds. After a tumble on the first turn of their descent, the French finished the course in 49.8 seconds and it appeared that the Swiss had won the game by 3-1. However, when the result was announced both teams were awarded 1pt each. The programme was then handed over to Georges Kleinmann in Switzerland who announced the score as 9-3. Jury chairman André Rosat interrupted him by stating that the score should actually be 10-2 and questioned this anomaly. Guy Lux then interrupted and informed him that there was some breach of rules on the final descent by the Swiss team and therefore the game ended 2-2 and declared a draw. With this accepted by the jury, the competition was handed over to Switzerland once again for the Game of Questions, with the scores confirmed as 9-3.


Game of Questions

The Swiss mayor, knowing that his team had a six-point lead, opted for the 1pt valued question and on their second attempt at answering the Swiss ‘intellectuals’ failed to give a correct response. The team were awarded a 1pt penalty and were now leading the French by 8-3. The French mayor in Les Houches knew that he had no option but to go for the 3pt option to try and close the gap between the teams. The first question posed to the team, despite the programme not being broadcast in the country, would have been an easy one to answer for viewers in Great Britain. The question set was “Which country will convert its currency to a decimal system in 1971?” The team answered correctly with the question referring to the 15th February 1971 when the United Kingdom changed from the imperial system of l.s.d. (pounds [librae], shillings [solidi] and pence [denarii]) to the decimal system of just pounds and pence (£ and p). The ‘intellectuals’ in this round did very well answering five questions correctly in a row. However, local skating hero Gary Perren did equally well in jumping the continuously growing number of rows of boxes. It was in fact the sixth question that actually brought the round to a halt after a correct answer could not be found within the 20 seconds permitted. The French were therefore awarded a 3pt penalty and had handed the overall competition to the Swiss as they were now leading 8-0. The second round saw both mayors opting for the same question values as they had in the first round and this time both teams won their rounds when the tasks could not be completed within the allotted time. The competition ended with the teams having the same scores as they did at the start of the question round, finishing 9-3 in favour of the Swiss.

Made in B/W • This programme exists in European Archives

 

CH & F

Interneige 1967

Winter Final

Event Staged: Sunday 26th February 1967
Venues: Patinoire d’Ycoor (Ycoor Ice Rink), Ycoor, Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
and Pentes de Ski (Ski Slopes), Les Rousses, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
SSR (CH):
Sunday 26th February, 1.30-2.40pm (Live)
ORTF (F):
Sunday 26th February 1967, 1.30-2.45pm (Live)
Not transmitted in Great Britain

Weather Conditions:
Switzerland - Cold and Windy
France - Cold and Overcast

Presenter Locations:
Simone Garnier (F) and Georges Kleinmann (CH) in Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
Claude Evelyne (CH) and Guy Lux (F) in Les Rousses, France

Referee Locations:
Cesare Vampa in Montana-Vermala, Switzerland
Gennaro Olivieri in Les Rousses, France

Neutral Jury in Lyon, France:
André Rosat (Chairman) [Genève], Jean Geraulde [Belgium],
Silvia Kaye [Canada], Jacques Antoine [Monaco] and Marie-Claude Rose (Scoregirl)
(No interpreter on this jury)

Playing Surfaces:
Switzerland - Ice
France - Snow

Teams: Montana-Vermala (CH) v. Les Rousses (F)

Team Members included:
Montana-Vermala (CH) -
Jean-Claude Chaulideron, Sérge Dequet, Johnny Glettig, Gary Perren;
Les Rousses (F) - François Alemi, Bernard Tangelais.

Games: The Revolving Gateaux (in Switzerland), The Fourteen Steps (in France), Send for the Fire-Fighters! (in Switzerland), Down the Slope and Into the Nets (in France), Asterix the Gaul v. William Tell (in Switzerland), Chase Me, Chase Me (in France), Game of Questions (The Crescendo) (at both venues).

Game of Questions - Round 1:
Opposition Task
(in Switzerland) -
An ice skater must pick up speed and jump over a block of 8 polystyrene cubes (4 cubes x 2 cubes) without touching any of them with his feet. Any further attempts being made would result in the block being increased by an extra row of 2 cubes each time.

Game of Questions - Round 2:
Opposition Task
(in France) -
A skier must descend a course of 12 steps encased in 3 large inflatable rings within 15 seconds. Any further attempts being made would result in 1 inflatable ring being added in each case.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour 1 2 3 4 5 6 GQ1 GQ1 GQ2 GQ2
Points Scored
CH 1 2 2 0 1 0 3 --- --- 3
F 1 0 0 2 1 2 --- -3

-3

---
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
CH 1 3 5 5 6 6 9 9 9 12
F 1 1 1 3 4 6 6 3 0 0

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

 CH • Montana-Vermala l

 F • Les Rousses

12
0

The Host Town and Venues

Montana-Vermala, Switzerland

Previously visited in Heat 4.


Les Rousses, France

Previously visited in Heat 2

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Revolving Carriages

The first game - ‘The Revolving Gateaux’ - was held in Switzerland, and had a time limit of two minutes. It featured four pivoted capstan-like contraptions set adjacent to each other on the ice, each separated by a set of tables. Each of the capstans had a bakery chef strapped into a chair at one end, with an opposing team player on ice skates at the other. On the countdown, all the capstans were set in motion by the opposing team players and after one circumnavigation, the first chef had to grab a large gateau from a podium, which he then had to attempt to place onto the first of the ‘separating’ tables (180° around the circle) as he passed by. If successful, the gateau could then be grabbed by the second chef as he passed by, who in turn attempted to place it on the next ‘separating’ table. The game was repeated by the third and fourth chefs and ultimately handed to the manager of the ice rink’s hotel, who was seated behind a final table. The team transporting the greater number of gateaux within the time limit was declared the winner. The French chefs participated first and successfully transported three gateaux. The second round saw the Swiss participate but they ran out of time just as their fourth gateau was being placed on the table and was therefore not counted. The game ended in a draw with each team scoring 1pt each.

Following confirmation of the score and the introduction of the neutral jury, the programme was handed over to Guy Lux on the snow-covered slopes in Les Rousses in France.


Game 2 - The Fourteen Steps

The second game (the first in France) - ‘The Fourteen Steps' - featured seven skiers from each team and was played over seven rounds. On the countdown, it transpired that the game was very basic and was a straight race down the slope passing over 14 snow-covered steps and crossing a finishing line. In order that there was no advantage to either side, after each run the teams swapped lanes. After the first four rounds the scores were level standing at 2-2, with all the winners coming from the same left-hand descending lane. This appeared to be the case in the fifth round until the Swiss skier tumbled just before reaching the finishing line. The French had taken the lead and were now leading 3-2 on the game. However their celebrations were to be short-lived as the same fate awaited their skier on the sixth round. Although leading at the time, he lost his balance halfway down, and allowed the Swiss team to draw the game level at 3-3 pushing the game into a climactic seventh and final round. The last round saw the French player set off before the countdown was completed and whilst the false start was allowed to continue, the Swiss team were compensated after their rival tumbled halfway down the course and handed them victory, winning the game by 4-3. The Swiss were awarded 2pts and were now leading 3-1 overall.


Game 3 - Send for the Fire-Fighters

The third game (the second in Switzerland) - ‘Send for the Fire-Fighters’ - was played over a four minutes duration and was somewhat of a slapstick affair and it nearly ended in disaster for the eventual winning team. At one end of the course were two opposing fire-fighters attached to each other by a large elasticated rope which was pivoted around a bollard. At the other end of the course was a large wooden beam balanced on a fulcrum, supported at the ends by polystyrene blocks underneath and having a large bowl sitting on top at either end. A small ‘fire’ had been set ablaze on the ice (in reality just a couple of smoke canisters to give the illusion of fire) beyond the beam purely for effect. On the countdown, each fire-fighter had to transport up to two buckets of water to the end of the course and empty their contents into his corresponding bowl. The idea of the game was to deposit as much water in the bowl to fill it and then after being given the signal by the judges, knock the polystyrene block away with a large mallet and thus emptying the contents onto the fire. The French fire-fighter scored first blood after 1 minute 25 seconds when he emptied a full bucket into the bowl, but this was followed almost immediately by two bucketsful from his Swiss counterpart. However, in his haste, he almost brought the beam tumbling to the ground whilst emptying the second bucket. Whilst the Frenchman was able to come back and pour a second bucket into his bowl, the Swiss player made a brave attempt with his next try to get as close to the beam as possible, but hit disaster when he dislodged his bowl and all of the collected contents emptied onto the ice. With just 1 minute 5 seconds remaining, the Swiss now needed a miracle to prevent the French from winning by default. However, the French fire-fighter was not so adept on the ice as his Swiss rival and this allowed them to make another double-bucket run and with just 5 seconds remaining on the game, he emptied the second bucket into the bowl. Although neither team had completed the game, the Swiss team were awarded the points as having collected the greater amount of water. With these 2pts added to their score, they were now leading the French 5-1, but as could been seen, it could have been a different score-line had not the Swiss been so adept on the ice.


Game 4 - Down the Slope and Into the Nets

The fourth game (the second in France) - ‘Down the Slope and Into the Nets - was a simple game which involved skiers descending a slope with various items and at a given point tossing them into one of three large raised nets with varying values of 1pt (the lowest), 3pts (the middle) and 5pts (the uppermost). The first and second rounds involved carrying taffeta shopping bags full of fruit and the French went first and scored 1pt and this was followed by the Swiss skier scoring 3pts. The second round saw the Swiss participating first and scoring another 3pts whilst the French matched their rivals and also scored 3pts. The Swiss were now leading 6-4 on the game. The third round involved the skiers carrying large suitcases down the slope, and whilst the French went first and scored 3pts, the Swiss skier missed his target and the case tumbled to the ground. The French had reversed the placings and were leading the Swiss 7-6. The fourth and final round involved the skiers donning top hats and then tossing them into the nets. The Swiss went first but failed to cross a given point before removing the hat in preparation to toss it and although he scored in the 3pt valued net, the run was nullified and he scored 0pts. The French, having watched the Swiss team’s error, had now already won the game, but to rub salt into the Swiss team’s wounds, their skier successfully tossed the hat into the uppermost net and scored 5pts. The French had won the game 12-6 (although Guy Lux announced the result as 10-6) and with the 2pts awarded, they had now closed the gap on the master scoreboard, trailing the Swiss 5-3.

The cameras returned to the ice rink in Switzerland to witness both presenters with their heads stuck in Asterix the Gaul books by way of introducing the next game.


Game 5 - Asterix the Gaul v. William Tell

The fifth game (the third in Switzerland) - ‘Asterix the Gaul v. William Tell’ - featured a team player sitting on a chair holding a large rock in the first round. The chair was attached to an elasticated rope at the front and a normal rope at the back. Before the game began, the rope was winched in, stretching the elasticated rope, and placed over a stump of wood. On the countdown, a French team-mate dressed as Asterix the Gaul cut the rope by means of an axe which sent the chair hurling up the course. Whilst this was occurring, another team-mate attached to another elasticated rope and dressed as Obelix, set forth from the side of the ice rink with a large cart on skis. The idea of the game in this round was for Obelix to time his run to coincide with the rock and dispense with it into the cart. The French team participated first but were only able to collect one rock on their initial run of four. The second round saw the Asterix and Obelix characters replaced by William Tell and his son. The rocks were replaced with giant apples, but the round was played out the same way as it was in the first. Despite the Swiss failing on their first two runs, they were successful in their third round and it all depended on how they performed in their final round as to how the points were awarded on the game. After releasing the chair, the player on board toppled over on to the ice after leaning over to far to meet the cart, and thus brought the game to a 1-1 conclusion. Both teams were awarded 1pt each and the Swiss were now leading 6-4 overall.


Game 6 - Chase Me, Chase Me

The sixth game (the third in France) - ‘Chase Me, Chase Me’ - was a straightforward tagging game down the slope. The first round saw a dog chasing a bone, the second round a bottle being chased by a cork-screw and the third round witnessed a baby’s bottle chasing a pram and nanny! The Swiss dog descended the slope first chasing the French bone but was unable to catch it. The same was true with the French dog and after the first round, the scores stood at 0-0. The second saw the Swiss unable to catch their quarry and although it appeared that the French had completed the task, the judges ruled that the French player had not followed the correct line of descent and their victory was nullified. The scores remained at 0-0 on the game with one round to play. The final round, however, witnessed the French bottle catching the Swiss pram and nanny and they were now leading 1-0. The Swiss team were not so fortunate when their bottle tumbled halfway down the slope and handed victory to the French on the game. The scores on the master scoreboard were now level at 6-6.


Game of Questions

With the scores confirmed by the neutral jury, a draw took place and determined that the first question round would begin in Switzerland.

With the scores at 6-6, the Swiss mayor opted for the 3pt question and his decision was soon vindicated when the team scored 3pts after the French opposition failed to clear 7 rows of cubes after the fourth round of questioning and took a 9-6 lead over the French. With this outcome, the French mayor’s choice of question had been made for him and he had to opt for the 3pt question. Although his team of ‘intellectuals’ also answered four questions correctly, the Swiss opposition succeeded after each round, and it was not until the fifth question that the team were unable to give a response and suffered a 3pt penalty. With the scores now standing at 9-3 in the Swiss team’s favour, victory overall had already been decided. The second round once again saw the French mayor opt for a 3pt question and the team failed to give a correct response on the first round. With another 3pt penalty, all the team’s efforts in the six competitive games had been wiped out, with the score now standing at 9-0 to the Swiss. Despite already having won, for fairness, the Swiss mayor opted for the 3pt option and was once again not disappointed, when the French opposition failed to complete the course after five rounds.

Additional Information

This Interneige Final, like the previous qualifying heat, opened with Swiss presenter, Georges Kleinmann on the ice rink in the ski resort of Montana-Vermala, but on this occasion to much drier weather conditions. The watching crowd were entertained by the local curling team passing stones underneath a revolving banner with the words ‘SALUT DE MONTANA’ emblazoned on it. The close-up of this was achieved by the camera being set on a triangular podium on skis, whilst the cameraman himself was sitting on a normal office chair on wheels!

Made in B/W • This programme exists in European Archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites