May Nilsson

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May Nilsson Alpine skiing
nation SwedenSweden Sweden
birthday May 5, 1921
place of birth Are , Sweden
date of death November 7, 2009
Place of death AlbertvilleFrance
discipline Slalom , downhill , combination
society Are SLK
Trainer Sigge Bergman
Medal table
World championships 0 × gold 0 × silver 1 × bronze
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
bronze Zakopane 1939 slalom

May Ingeborg Nilsson (married Lafforgue ; born May 5, 1921 in Åre , † November 7, 2009 in Albertville , France ) was a Swedish ski racer . She won the bronze medal in slalom at the World Championships in Zakopane in 1939 and is considered a pioneer of alpine skiing in Sweden. Her daughters Britt and Ingrid Lafforgue were also ski racers.


May Nilsson attended the ski school in her home town of Storlien in 1936 , where her talent was discovered by trainer Sigge Bergman. Bergman referred the young Nilsson to the famous Arlberg ski instructor Hannes Schneider , who helped her perfect her swing. Her driving style was described as "soft, beautiful and excellent technique".

In 1938 the young skier traveled with a Swedish delegation to the ski races at Galdhøpiggen . The successes in slalom marked the international breakthrough for Swedish alpine sports. Nilsson himself won three medals at the Austrian championships that season , namely silver in slalom and bronze in downhill and combined . The Swede celebrated her greatest career success in 1939 at the World Championships in Zakopane . In the slalom, she won the bronze medal 19.5 seconds behind the winner, Christl Cranz , thus securing the first Swedish medal at the Alpine World Ski Championships. In the combination, she just missed another medal win as fourth. In 1940 she won both downhill and slalom at the "Replacement World Championships" in Rjukan, Norway .

In 1941 May Nilsson was the only woman part of the 23-strong Swedish squad at the controversial World Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo . After she finished eighth in the downhill, the slalom ended with a disqualification for the co-favorite . The results were later canceled. While Nilsson won numerous national championship titles in the 1940s , she worked as a hostess in the ski resort of Riksgränsen . At the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz , she was once again the only Swede across all sports and achieved a tenth place in her favorite discipline as the best result.

Her younger brother Åke Nilsson (1927-1991) was also a ski racer and took part in the Winter Olympics three times. With her husband Maurice Lafforgue , two-time silver medalist at the 1937 World Championships , she had twin daughters in November 1948. The sisters Brigitte "Britt" and Ingrid were themselves very successful ski racers and at the beginning of the 1970s belonged to the absolute world leaders in the disciplines of slalom and giant slalom .

May Nilsson died in Albertville in 2009 at the age of 88 .


Olympic games

World championships

Further successes (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. May Nilsson. Sports Reference LLC, accessed April 1, 2019 .
  2. a b c d Nils-Olof Zethrin: Minnesord - May Lafforgue., December 15, 2009, accessed April 1, 2019 (Swedish).