Bernhard Russi & Matthias Hüppi

They were a well-oiled team, but also a tight-knit unit. Matthias Hüppi and Bernhard Russi spent decades travelling together from one ski resort to the next. They shared hotels, cars and flights. They ate breakfast together and spent more time with one another than some married couples. By the end the sports presenter Matthias Hüppi and the high-profile expert Bernhard Russi had forged a deep friendship.

When the pair commentated on ski racing on Swiss television, they demonstrated great professionalism but also tremendous respect for one another. Hüppi had no issue with the fact that Russi was still a bit more of an expert than he was. When it came to the technical details, he gladly handed over to the former skiing ace and Olympic champion. Conversely, it was clearly Hüppi who guided the programme and steered the discussion.

Some people said they in fact were like an old married couple. But Hüppi and Russi quarrelled far too little for that, including off-air apparently. They did not interrupt and rarely contradicted one another. Despite all the emotion, they appeared composed, pleasant-natured and moderate – very Swiss. A touch more punch in the discussion occasionally would probably not have hurt.

However, the dream team made their final appearance in February. After 31 years Matthias Hüppi and Bernhard Russi provided commentary together for the last time at the home Ski World Championships in St. Moritz. An era came to an end. However, the two darlings of TV will still appear individually for a little while longer. Matthias Hüppi, who is now 58 years old, will present “Sportpanorama” and certain live events. Bernhard Russi, who is eleven years older, will continue to contribute as a TV expert at major events.

Marko Lehtinen

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