Mellie Francon – Switzerland – Snowboarding

Mellie Francon is a 28 year old snowboarder from Switzerland who competes in the new to the Olympics sport of snowboardcross where four athletes at a time race down the course. In Vancouver, she raced to a seventh place finish.

Mellie started off hot in the snowboardcross event as she qualified with the fastest time. Unfortunately, she failed to make the finals when the medal round head-to-head competition started. She did take third to Lindsey Jacobellis in the small finals heat to claim seventh overall.

Here’s a video of the Vancouver snowboardcross small finals. This vidcap of Mellie (in red) just before she crashes in her heat (she was already in third so the crash didn’t hurt her).

Papau Barat

In her other life, Mellie is a wildlife photographer. She cooperated on a book on Papau Barat, a province in New Guinea. The province is very desolate and is home to several primitive indigenous tribes.

While taking pictures for the book, Mellie elected to go topless for part of the time. When these photos surfaced, several people criticized Francon for posing in the native dress. Personally, I find any controversy overblown.

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