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Skier loses leg in super-G crash
March 5, 2008 11:22 AM   Subscribe

It started with some broken bones and then Austrian skier Matthias Lanzinger had his lower leg amputated yesterday.
posted by gman (53 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


holy fuck I did not want to read about that.
posted by notsnot at 11:25 AM on March 5, 2008


"Unfortunately, his injury was very serious because it seems that his foot was twisted several times around its own axis and this really damaged the bone and soft tissue," Engebretsen said.

This is *exactly* why, despite the occasional minor concussion, I insist on snowboarding.
posted by Ryvar at 11:28 AM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


'Tis but a scratch.
posted by kcds at 11:29 AM on March 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


i really didn't like how the AFP ended off that article - 'The Austrian skier has placed just once on the podium in 37 races......'

he wasn't very good, so it's not that big a deal.
posted by gman at 11:31 AM on March 5, 2008


zomg wretched.

Bet he skis with a prosthetic, though. Skiing's pretty freaking fun.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:31 AM on March 5, 2008


Ryvar beat me to it, but I have a better comment on that part of the article:

MOTHER FUCK!
posted by Scoo at 11:36 AM on March 5, 2008


shit bindings.
posted by verisimilitude at 11:44 AM on March 5, 2008


Yea, that ski should have popped off.
posted by freshundies at 11:48 AM on March 5, 2008


shit bindings.

I doubt it. Competing at that level, your bindings are supposed to be extremely tight. Otherwise, your boot might slip out during a tight turn or after a strong impact.

I hope they fix him up with a prosthesis that allows him to keep skiing.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:50 AM on March 5, 2008


The video is even worse than reading about it. *shudder* Definitely do not watch it if you have trouble with the text description.
posted by evilangela at 11:50 AM on March 5, 2008


Usually I would say something about how professional athletes understand the inherent risks involved with the sport.
But....*Shudder* This sounds just so awful and painful.
And yes, why didn't the skis pop off?
posted by heatherbeth at 11:51 AM on March 5, 2008


The bindings are supposed to keep your boot from from coming out during aggressive skiing maneuvers. Not while your foot is being twirled around your leg like a rubber band.
posted by freshundies at 11:53 AM on March 5, 2008


Wow, that actually managed to be worse than the footage of Eduardo (a Brazilian/Croatian striker playing for Arsenal) getting his leg broken the week before last.

Great, and I had just stopped seeing Eduardo's injury whenever I close my eyes. Why do I click on links when I know perfectly well I will be horrified by the result?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:55 AM on March 5, 2008


It took me three minutes to uncringe and remove my hands from my crotch before I could type this.
posted by Chuffy at 11:57 AM on March 5, 2008


Grody.

To the max.
posted by folgers crystals at 11:58 AM on March 5, 2008


Fuck fuck fuck fuck fiuck fuck fuck.

This is why my bindings are set to a reasonable 7.5 not like racers, on 22.

Ski bindings that downhillers/super g racers use are different beasts from the ones you & I slide downhill on. Much stiffer springs, much harder torsional limits (hence why this bloke's angle did a 1040) and the ability to be able to take impacts at the 70mph+ that they race under without popping off.

For a discussion on ski injuries and the biomechanics behind them see here (pdf see page 15 onwards for discussion on bindings).
posted by lalochezia at 12:00 PM on March 5, 2008


Seconding Ryvar - don't skis look like what you'd invent if asked to design something to break legs? A long lever on each foot... The fact that you have to have a sophisticated and delicately-calibrated release device between you and the ski could be taken as a hint... (Says nicwolff, nursing his hyperextended snowboarder's thumb.)
posted by nicwolff at 12:03 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is there a tally somewhere of the serious injuries and/or deaths incurred from the Super G?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:05 PM on March 5, 2008


Amen, Ryvar. As long as we knuckle-draggers keep our wrists safe (try these), at least we don't have to worry about our legs going all pipecleaner during a yard-sale crash.

My lower body sighs with relief every time I lock my boots in those bindings. Feet (+ knees, legs, hips) ain't going nowhere.

Could you even design a sport to be more dangerous to the knees than skiing?
posted by gottabefunky at 12:05 PM on March 5, 2008


shit bindings.

Not knowing that "bindings" is a skiing term, I read this as some strange sort of exclamation.

"Well, shit bindings! Don't that beat all?"
posted by brundlefly at 12:06 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rotten.com filter?

Why is this interesting?
posted by monospace at 12:07 PM on March 5, 2008


This is why you should stay in school, kids.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:10 PM on March 5, 2008


The thrill of victory and... (wait for it).... the agony of de feet.
posted by hal9k at 12:18 PM on March 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


My stomach just twisted several times around its own axis. Pls induce coma
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:18 PM on March 5, 2008


Why is this interesting?

Because this story has a twist and an unexpected ending.
posted by Free word order! at 12:20 PM on March 5, 2008 [10 favorites]


Shit bindings!
posted by phoque at 12:40 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I feel very very sad for him and his family
posted by zouhair at 12:41 PM on March 5, 2008


That video is a true horror film. On a slightly brighter side, Ted Kennedy's son skied after having a leg amputated,
posted by Cranberry at 12:45 PM on March 5, 2008


I suspect that Matthias Lanzinger will shoot for participating in future Paralympic Winter Games: Slalom and Giant Slalom.
posted by ericb at 12:57 PM on March 5, 2008


BTW -- this past weekend was the 33rd. Annual Wells Fargo Cup at Winter Park, CO., benefitting The National Sports Center for the Disabled.
posted by ericb at 1:02 PM on March 5, 2008


shit bindings.

See, I thought that was just some phrase like "mother fucker," or "crap monkeys."
posted by katillathehun at 1:04 PM on March 5, 2008


I'm with the snowboarders here. I don't have to watch the video to know it's the nightmare that switched me permanently from learning to ski to learning snowboarding years ago. Yikes.
posted by Tubes at 1:27 PM on March 5, 2008


evilangela: "The video is even worse than reading about it. *shudder* Definitely do not watch it if you have trouble with the text description."

I wish folk wouldn't post statements like that - I always take it as a challenge. More fool me.
posted by jack_mo at 1:28 PM on March 5, 2008


Funny thing is that the stats show that snowboarders don't injure their knees on the slopes. They usually injure them by falling while waiting in line for the lift. The one leg that's strapped in tends to get twisted nasty.
posted by smackfu at 1:30 PM on March 5, 2008


The one leg that's strapped in tends to get twisted nasty.

I think I would much rather have my knee twisted at a slow speed, maybe once, than have it twisted around itself many times at high speed.
posted by vansly at 1:36 PM on March 5, 2008


vansly writes "I think I would much rather have my knee twisted at a slow speed, maybe once, than have it twisted around itself many times at high speed."

I'm close to 40 and skied most of my life and never been injured (and I ski mostly blacks), and most of the long-term skiers I know haven't had any serious injuries. I live near a ski resort and go almost every weekend with a season pass. From what I gather from patrol, a lot of the recent injuries are snowboarders going way too fast and ramming into other people, which is very easy to do on a snowboard, but a bit more tricky on skis. Of course, hotdoggers are always going to be more accident prone.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:16 PM on March 5, 2008


Believe it or not, these sorts of gruesome injuries with even more gruesome endings are rather rare in skiing. Especially recreational skiing. In fact, unless you're attempting to go as fast as possible down an icy slope of near-vertical steepness, I'd say the chances of incurring such an injury are close to nil -- about as likely as becoming paralyzed from a game of touch football with grade school girls.

But don't let that stop you from deciding never to go skiing.
posted by decoherence at 3:03 PM on March 5, 2008


Hearing about stuff like this makes me thankful that I stick with nice and safe hobbies, like juggling nitroglycerin and poking angry, half starved wolves whilst covered in A1 sauce.

You know, sane stuff like that.
posted by quin at 3:05 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Racers at this level keep their bindings cranked down because crashing is not all that common. It's much more dangerous to step out of a binding unintentionally. Sometimes it bites them in the ass, though.

Ideally, you want the best of all worlds: you want your bindings set to open just before you incur enough torque to wreck your knee. I've stepped out of my bindings at bad times; that's why I keep mine very tight. Luckily, I've never injured anything but my pride or my sunglasses. I can't remember the last time I yard-saled though.

The most dangerous thing for most recreational skiers is other recreational skiers.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:36 PM on March 5, 2008


This is *exactly* why, despite the occasional minor concussion, I insist on snowboarding.

Better a leg than the spine or the skull.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:45 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've been snowboarding a few times, and the worst wipeouts I've had have all been while trying to get off of the chair lift. Those things are deathtraps.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:41 PM on March 5, 2008


Believe it or not, these sorts of gruesome injuries with even more gruesome endings are rather rare in skiing.

Seriously. There's a slight difference between Super G and the bunny hill. This guy was going highway speeds on packed (and probably icy) snow.

Super G is the NASCAR of winter sports.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:52 PM on March 5, 2008


This is the most painful thing I've heard since the hockey player's carotid artery getting slashed and the 28 1/2" woman giving birth to the 18" baby.

Poor guy. Right now he's probably not thinking about prosthetics or even skiing, he's wondering how come, if they took his leg, and he can see it's gone, his brain still tells him it's there?
posted by misha at 5:35 PM on March 5, 2008


Puts me in mind of how Napoleon McCallum's NFL career ended
posted by pax digita at 5:53 PM on March 5, 2008


This is the most painful thing I've heard since...the 28 1/2" woman giving birth to the 18" baby.

Links pls!
posted by furtive at 5:58 PM on March 5, 2008


Damn, son. Holy fucking shit. Mother fuck.
posted by chunking express at 6:17 PM on March 5, 2008


I know this sounds insensitive, but i LOLed because i have the greasemonkey extension loaded that puts [pop] next to youtube links...and it seemed onomatopoeic.

But then i shuddered something fierce.

Btw, my brother blew his knee out by hitting a tree while on a snowboard. I still prefer for both feet to strapped to the same board though. It is likely, however, that the most dangerous thing i'll do in the near future is play Wiffle ball.

I hope Matthias gets back on the horse that threw him and competes in the paralympics...
posted by schyler523 at 7:58 PM on March 5, 2008


Fucking hell.
I hope he has the mental stamina to pull through this. He won't be entering those competitions anymore with a prosthetic.


This is *exactly* why, despite the occasional minor concussion, I insist on snowboarding.—Ryvar.

No helmet¿¿ No thanks.
I took up boarding because skiing was no challenge at all, no super fury G for me though and no egging it downhill either.

As for rec skiers and boarders, it's those that are out of control or biting off a hill bigger than they can chew where things end badly. I agree with watching out for the ski lift exit, they're dangerous with multiple pile ons in slow motion.
posted by alicesshoe at 10:12 PM on March 5, 2008


There isn't a snowboarder on the planet who could keep up with the skiing super-G circuit.
posted by lightweight at 10:21 PM on March 5, 2008


Holy jesus, that was horrific. Having injured my knees a few times I have pretty low tolerance for watching knee injury, and that blew the scale. I actually missed the extent of it in the normal speed playback, but the slow motion.. Oh god.
posted by sycophant at 2:00 AM on March 6, 2008


Why is this interesting?

Obviously, you're not a golfer.
posted by rokusan at 5:34 AM on March 6, 2008


There isn't a snowboarder on the planet who could keep up with the skiing super-G circuit.

There isn't a great snowboarder on the planet that could keep up with a great skier.

Speed is a function of length, and snowboards are simply too short to go as fast as skis, ultimately. When it comes to sheer speed potential, two-plankers rule.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:43 AM on March 6, 2008


Looks like the binding didn't release because he broke his leg on the first impact, so there wasn't enough resistance. Subsequent twisting of the broken leg caused most of the damage.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:19 AM on March 6, 2008


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