Thomas Fanara has been a veteran of the French national team since 2005 and will make his second trip to the Olympics in Sochi, where he figures to contend for a medal in giant slalom. A devastating knee injury kept him from competing in Vancouver, but he has returned to the World Cup circuit and landed on the podium four times since the injury. Finishing major races has definitely been a problem for Fanara, who posted DNFs in the giant slalom at the 2006 Torino Olympics as well as the World Championships in 2009 and 2013.
- 2011: World Championships – Gold (team), 6th (giant slalom)
- 2007: World Championships – 16th (giant slalom)
Things to know:
1. Although he was born in Annecy, which unsuccessfully bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics, his father was Parisian and his mother rarely skied. Fanara says he owes his start in the sport to his upbringing in the Rhone-Alps and to the influence of his older brother, Benoit, who tried to become a professional ski racer but instead became an anesthesiologist. He is now part of the French ski team’s rotating medical staff, occasionally traveling to World Cup event.
2. Fanara had a spectacular crash during the second run of the giant slalom in Beaver Creek in 2009, which resulted in a torn ACL. He spent six months off skis and was forced to miss the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The injury required surgery and a full 11 months of recovery time. To this day, he does not like talking about it.
3. When he is not skiing, Fanara enjoys playing ice hockey and soccer for fun. He spent some time studying marketing at university but has not completed his degree and he does not know if he could go back and finish it at this point. Fanara said he plans to continue competing through the 2016 season.