Slightly lost in the hoopla of the American double win at Aspen and Lake Louise by Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn, was the return of Swiss ski racing champion Daniel Albrecht at Beaver Creek this past weekend.
Albrecht has four World Cup victories and a World Championships gold, medal, and bronze on his ski resume. All that came to a stop in Kitzbuhel on the final downhill training run for the 2009 Hahnenkamm. Traveling at 86 miles-per-hour off the Zielsprung, the final jump of the Hahnenkamm, the force of wind was too much on the bottom of Albrecht’s skis. The force sent him into the back seat, flying in the air for more than 230 feet and landing on his back.
The wreck put Albrecht in a coma for three weeks. He missed the rest of the 2009 season and all of the 2010 season. The crash was nearly identical to American Chad Fleischer’s 1995 crash portrayed in The Thin Line.
Last Sunday, Albrecht made his long-awaited return to the World Cup at Beaver Creek. Wearing bib 13, Albrecht earned a second run and eventually finished 21st. The Swiss skier is skipping Saturday’s World Cup giant slalom race in Val d’Isere to get more training in. He’ll return to the World Cup in Italy at Alta Badia on December 19th.