Shortly after a spectacular crash that ended this seasons podium dreams for Canadian Mens Alpine skier Manuel Osborne-Paradis, he quipped to reporters in true Manny style, The doctor bought me a pizza. I got a free helicopter ride. How many of you got a free helicopter ride today?
While competing in a World Cup downhill event in Chamonix, France, on January 29th, Manny was only 4/100ths of a second off the lead when his ski caught an edge. Mannys left ski flew off and he became airborne before skidding down the hill and ploughing into the protective fencing lining the course. Manny was airlifted from the scene and taken to a hospital in Geneva.
The crash resulted in a broken left leg, a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament, bruised ribs, and an abrupt end to Mannys race season. Manny also hit his head when he landed, but his helmet protected him from further injury.
The accident adds to the list of injuries that have plagued the Mens Alpine Team this year. The team roster currently reads like a doctors rap sheet: Jan Hudec, broken hand; Francois Bourque, bad knee; Ryan Semple; blown knee; Kelly McBroom, broken ankle; Louis-Peirre Hlie, concussion, bum knee.
Manny remains upbeat about the injury, recently posting on his Facebook page, Thank you for all the wishes. It was a long day but that is the price you pay for going fast.