Philippe May was born on October 8th, 1970. He grew up in the Swiss Alps in Verbier and then moved to a smaller village called Versegeres where he still lives. Versegeres is located in the valley below the famous ski resort Verbier. Although the rest of Philippe's family are not big skiers, it seemed from an early age Philippe was bound for the slopes.
Like many other youngsters, Philippe had dreams of being a rock star in a heavy metal band. In the early 80's with KISS and Metalica as his idols, Philippe and his brother Michel started a rock band. Philippe was the star drummer. After a few years of playing and touring successfully, Philippe decided to move on and get more serious about his true calling; skiing.
Philippe was a competitive racer in all alpine events, but his favorite was downhill. It seemed from the very start May had a need for speed. After a bad knee injury, he was forced to stop all sports for four years. Philippe was determined to return to the ski world. With a lot of hard work, and physical therapy, Philippe was able to overcome his injury. He returned to the ski world and acquired his ski instructor’s license, and continued to coach youngsters in alpine racing.
Philippe got more involved in speed skiing, traveling to other resorts to participate in World Cup races with World Class Athletes. It was a struggle at the beginning. May was used to the "Alpine" way of thinking for race preparation. In this event, Philippe was a rookie and had to start from the beginning. In addition to having entirely different equipment, Philippe had to adjust mentally as well. Philippe found a niche in a truly invigorating and exhilarating ski event known as speed skiing.
After several years of fighting and competing among the most elite athletes in this event, Philippe May has conquered many goals. Every year for the last 10, Philippe was successful in winning the title of Swiss Speed Ski Champion. Philippe conquered one of the most difficult goals in all alpine disciplines by winning the overall FIS World Cup Globe in Speed skiing in 2002. He was also the Pro World Champion in 2007. Not only has Philippe achieved his personal goals, he is one of 5 men to ever ski over 250 km/h. Philippe has also achieved an amazing 35 World Cup podiums in his career so far.
Philippe continues to train in the off season. May has started to compete in endurance cycling events such as the race across Florida in the US – 272 km in one day. In addition to weight lifting and cross training sports, Philippe has been the director of the Suisse Ski School in Verbier for 5 years. This is a very important position in which Philippe is in charge of 286 ski instructors and thousands of clients. This job satisfies him both mentally and physically, as he is able to work both at his desk and on the mountain taking care of business in Verbier while he's not racing.
For 2013 Philippe has chosen to focus on the high speed races in Vars and Verbier. Both resorts have the fastest tracks in the world. Instead of chasing another World Cup globe, Philippe is now after pure speed. While he still has a great respect for the athletes competing on the World Cup tour, Philippe has chosen to take a detour and be more selective about the events he will participate in. This is a tough decision for someone as competitive as Philippe, but he has chosen to go full force at his job in Verbier so he can ski full force in the high speed events this spring.
Posted on 22, 12 2008