chiming in.Biowolf asked me for a thought or two on this thread. I'm pressed to leave town, so I didn't read it thoroughly, nor check any of the links. So please hold what I say as suspect.
I think all this stuff about boots, steering, waist and hips, and line is all good and thought provoking, and some statements really ring true.
However, I think that there is a huge piece missing that I feel is invoked by the title of Maier's book, and that I think has been ignored by the thread. This piece is what I believe to be Maier's incredible and tenacious WILL. Certainly he has lots of science and study and technique, etc. on his side, but I can think of nothing more powerful in this story than his commitment to work through the doubts and the pain and to never lose sight of this decision to come back--to test himself and to see what can be done with what he has deep inside.
I think the other piece that hasn't been brought up is his amazing TOUCH in a race course--the feeling for the snow, the awareness of what's happening underfoot, the speed, the timing--and the ability to adjust through time.
These two pieces are the ones that stun me in this comeback. It reminds me a little of Stenmark's ability to reteach himself how to ski slalom during the period of the rapid gate development--only more dramatic, as Stenmark had two good legs. It actually reminds me more of Lance Armstrong.