Written by By Staff Writer
Legendary skier Maverick Viñales appears in an old video to almost die after slamming into a tree on a face-first landing on an Olympic mountain.
Viñales, of Chile, is seen below swinging down the piste with a propane torch for a sideburn hairdo, after a fast-forward in the film so he doesn’t miss his practice run.
Wearing a helmet, the 50-year-old skier is then seen crashing down a steep slope — then hitting a tree on the right-hand side.
It all happened on the ski slope of the 1990 Winter Olympics.
Video credit: McGillivray and Liu/YouTube
According to media reports, the filmmaker also smashes his head on the snow and his head moves in the opposite direction. A helicopter attends to his injury, and a medic eventually asks whether he needs surgery.
And then, miraculously, everyone seems to survive — although the injured skier was said to have trouble speaking for a few days.
“Had there been more spectators than just the athletes there may have been more chaos in the stands, but it was a very clever plot,” reported Chilean online publication Foremadaa.
“It was a moment that many skiers will never forget, especially since so many people went to the recording studio for a rehearsal,” said Viñales, on the International Ski Federation’s website.
“It happened so fast you have no time to react and you’re blacked out from the shock.”
Viñales, who is considered the true spiritual father of ski racing, was part of the eventual Chile team of skiers that went to the Winter Olympics in Calgary in Canada in 1992.