Anja Paerson of Sweden suffers scary fall at Winter Olympics downhill

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on February 17, 2010 12:31 pm

Anja Paerson of Sweden had a big wreck over the final jump of Franz’s Downhill, the Winter Olympics downhill course.  Over the final jump, Paerson was in position to knock American Julia Mancuso out of second position.  But, then she was launched skyward off the last jump.

It looked that Paerson may have missed her pre-jump, the technique in which alpine racers jump a few yards before the actual lip of the jump to minimize the distance flying in the air.  It’s never good for alpine racers to spend time in the air, as no speed is gained while the skis are not on the snow.  A pre-jump has to be timed perfectly, and it looked that Paerson missed hers, getting launched skyward.

For as bad as the wreck was, it could have been much worse.  Paerson’s position in the air was perilous at best.  Her position was more Nordic than downhill.  When she landed, the forces were so massive, she was thrown back on her tails, her head and back hitting against the icy snow.  Paerson then spun out and through one of the gates. 

Paerson has 41 World Cup wins, 18 coming in slalom and 11 in giant slalom.  She was able to ski off after the wreck, a great sign as she’ll be a big medal contender in the other four Winter Olympics alpine events.  We’ll update you more on Paerson’s condition as more news is made available.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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