Top Five Ski Crashes

By Zach

Since it was bright, sunny and about 65 degrees out in Brooklyn today, I thought I’d do a post about skiing. Or rather, about the occasions when skiing goes awry.

Skiing is admittedly kind of a fringe sport. Not a lot of Americans outside of New England and the Rockies area know too much about it. Those who do follow the sport know how awesomely difficult and dangerous it is to be hurtling down a sheet of ice and choppy snow at 80-90 miles per hour. Obviously, there’s some potential for disaster. Here are five of the better crashes I’ve seen.

Please note that as far as I know, these guys weren’t seriously injured. There have been some really bad crashes that have ended in airlifts (Scott Macartney in 2008 at Kitzbuhel for example), and even deaths (Ulrike Maier’s in 1994), but for obvious reasons those videos aren’t fun to watch. These are.

5. Andrej Jerman – Groeden Super G, 2009

Brutal fall. Jerman gets late and catches too much air off a bump, then lands only to find his boot’s on a collision course with the gate. Getting late and taking out gates is one of the more painful ways you can fall in skiing, and this is a perfect example.

4. Mario Matt – not sure when/where this was

Mario Matt, a slalom skier by specialty, occasionally participates in downhill for combined races (on the World Cup there are a few events every year that combine racers’ times in a run of downhill and a run or two of slalom). In this case, that plan backfired. I’m not even quite sure how he was able to do a corkscrew in the air unintentionally like this, but it looks really cool nonetheless. I couldn’t find a video of just Matt’s crash, but he’s the first crash in this compilation, so it will have to suffice. The rest of it isn’t very good, though, and the music sucks, so just a heads up.

3. David Poisson – Val Gardena Downhill, 201o

Bad camera angle, but you get the idea. Poisson corkscrews off the jump impressively.

2. Daron Rahlves – Adelboden Giant Slalom, 2005

Rahlves gets bonus points for both pulling this off in a GS and for crashing into the crowd.

1. Hermann Maier – Nagano Olympic Downhill, 1998

By far the most famous fall of all time. A lot of people recognize this crash because it was so high profile and so spectacular. Maier was the best skier in the world at the time, and this crash looked like it could have been fatal. He was in fact very lucky to survive –  he blew through two fences and landed in a rock field that was covered with an unusual amount of snow, which probably saved him. A couple days after this he won gold medals in GS and Super G, cementing his legend as one of the toughest and best skiers ever.

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