(Wengen) French ski star Alexis Pinturault fell during the Wengen World Cup super-G on Friday and was evacuated by helicopter, six days after becoming a father for the first time.
Overall World Cup champion in 2021 and three-time Olympic medalist, Pinturault fell when landing on the Silberhorn jump, approaching the last section of the legendary Lauberhorn course.
His skis came off and he raced down the mountain, sliding about fifty meters before stopping.
Race officials covered Pinturault with a heating blanket while waiting for a helicopter to land on the course and take him to hospital.
French media reported that it was a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which would end Pinturault’s season.
The race was stopped for about 25 minutes. It was won by Frenchman Cyprien Sarrazin, who started a few minutes before Pinturault.
Sarrazin clocked a time of one minute 47.75 seconds and beat Swiss Marco Odermatt by 58 hundredths of a second. Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde finished exactly one second behind the Frenchman.
Ontarian James Crawford was the best of the six Canadians entered in the race with a 13th place finish, in 1:49.62.
From the leader’s box, near the finish area, Sarrazin seemed worried when he saw Pinturault take a somersault after being unbalanced when landing the jump.
“It’s hard to truly celebrate when a friend falls like this. I hope it’s correct,” Sarrazin told Swiss broadcaster RTS.
“We know he was conscious and that’s the most important thing. This victory is for him,” added Sarrazin.
Pinturault, 32, and his wife Romane welcomed their daughter, Olympe, last Saturday in Bern. That day he was to take part in a giant slalom in Adelboden.
Romane Pinturault accompanies her husband in his entourage and takes care of relations with the media.
Pinturault returned to competition on Thursday with the best result of his downhill career, a ninth place in Wengen.