Giorgio Rocca (Coira, 6 August 1975) is a former Italian alpine skier specializing in special slalom, winner of eleven World Cup races, a specialty World Cup and three world medals.
The son of an Italian father and a Swiss mother, Giorgio Rocca was born in Chur and lives between Sankt Moritz and Lugano in Switzerland and Livigno in Italy.
He made his international debut at the Junior World Championships in Montecampione / Colere 1993; the following year, in the Lake Placid youth world championship, he won the bronze medal in the combined. In the European Cup his first placement was the 29th place obtained in the special slalom of Geilo / Hemsedal on 5 December 1994.
On 15 and 16 December 1995 in Bardonecchia he obtained his only two podiums in the continental circuit, both third places in giant slalom; he debuted in the World Cup on January 6, 1996 in Flachau, without finishing the giant slalom. On 24 January 1999 he won his first podium in the World Cup (third in the Kitzbühel special slalom) and in the same season he made his debut at the World Championships: in Vail / Beaver Creek 1999 he finished 11th in the giant slalom and 4th in the special slalom.
At the World Championships in Sankt Anton 2001 he was 15th in the special slalom; in the following season he entered the first merit group of the special slalom in the World Cup (the first fifteen of the specialty ranking) and took part in the XIX Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City 2002, finishing 26th in the giant slalom and not finishing the special slalom .
On 19 January 2003 in Wengen he won his first World Cup race and at the following World Championships in Sankt Moritz he won the bronze medal, again in special slalom, while in the combined he was 8th. In the following world championship edition, Bormio / Santa Caterina Valfurva 2005, Rocca was chosen as Italy's standard-bearer for the opening ceremony, and then won the bronze medal in the combined and special slalom on the Stelvio slope.
In the 2005-2006 season Rocca made his debut by collecting five World Cup victories in as many special slalom races (held in Beaver Creek, Madonna di Campiglio, Kranjska Gora, Adelboden and Wengen), thus becoming the third skier in history to be able to win the first three races of the season, after Ingemar Stenmark and Alberto Tomba, and equaling the streak of Stenmark himself and Marc Girardelli of five consecutive victories. The series was interrupted in Kitzbühel on January 22, when he did not finish the first heat: Rocca was unable to equal the record, belonging to Tomba, of seven victories in a row.
On 10 February 2006, in the opening ceremony of the XX Olympic Winter Games in Turin 2006, Rocca took the Olympic oath on behalf of all the athletes participating in the Games; at his side, supporting the Olympic flag on which the oath was taken, Giuliana Minuzzo, who had pronounced it in the previous Italian edition of the Winter Olympic Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956. Two weeks later, Rocca, great favorite in the Olympic competition of special slalom, disappointed the expectation of the many supporters who flocked to Sestriere to follow his test, falling shortly after passing the middle of the first heat. Previously he had finished fifth in the combined just seven cents from the podium. At the end of the season he won the 2006 special slalom World Cup.
In the following seasons the athlete from Valtellina, also due to various physical problems that afflicted him, was not confirmed at the same levels. Apart from a podium at the beginning of the 2007 season, in fact, he remained far from the top three in the race until 1 February 2009, when he took a second place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen behind his teammate Manfred Mölgg. In the latest world championships to which p