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James Riddell

Full name: William James Riddell
Gender: Male
Born: December 27, 1909 in Wandsworth, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: February 2, 2000 in New Forest, Hampshire, Great Britain
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Alpine Skiing

Related Olympians: Husband of Jeanette Kessler.


Educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University, James Riddell excelled at both cricket and athletics. His international skiing career began in the very first international downhill race; Riddell finished eighth at Zakopane, Poland in 1929 and won the Meurren Inferno the same year. British downhill champion in 1935, he crashed badly into a tree during the downhill section of the Combined event at the 1936 Winter Games, was catapulted into a river and suffered a back injury. Clocked at 127.96km over the Flying Kilometre at St. Moritz, Riddell was also a competent ski-jumper. Off the slopes he led a varied life, the thirties were spent divided between wildlife photography in Africa and writing children’s books whilst the war years saw him teach mountain survival techniques for the armed forces at the Middle East Ski and Mountaineering School in Lebanon. A six-month monoplane flight to Australia, co-piloting with the novelist Neville Shute, provided the inspiration for his travel book, "Flight of Fancy", which was followed by a series of books on skiing. He married another skier, 1933 World Championship medallist [Jeanette Kessler] and they co-authored the guidebook “Ski Holidays in the Alps”. At various times president of Ski Club of Great Britain, the Kandahar Club and the Alpine Ski Club, he continued to ski into his seventies.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Winter 26 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Alpine Skiing Men's Combined Great Britain GBR AC DNF

Men's Combined

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1936 Winter 26 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Alpine Skiing Great Britain Final Standings AC DNF
1936 Winter 26 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Alpine Skiing Great Britain Downhill AC DNF
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