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Downhill claims another young victim

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Best wishes to Silvano for his recovery.
Is this an inherent risk of safety netting?
Comments, anyone?
post #2 of 12
I heard about the accident. At the 1998 Olympics, Herman Meir took a spectacular fall I beleive during the men's downhill competition. I think the safty netting saved him from any really serious injury, so much so, that he came back to win,again if memeory serves me, two or three more medals in other alpine events.

Herman Meir may not have been moving at 80 mph.Silvano or any skier moving at that rate of speed and taking a fall is probably going to sustain an injury/s especially hitting anything, including safty netting, if significant decelleration has not occured.

So it is sad,but he could have been killed. Don't give up hope yet, they are making tremendous advances in spinal injury treatments. He can still ski as a handicapped skier, so the future is not entirely bleak, but not pleasant either. You hate to see things like this happen, but the need for speed has in it, certain risks of injury.
post #3 of 12
Another tragedy....

I wouldn't say that it's a risk inherent in safety netting, but it's certainly a risk inherent in going 80 mph down a mountain.

The nets do seem to have contributed to some accidents when skiers have become tangled up in them, but perhaps even here, they may have prevented more serious injuries (or death). In this unusual case, Silvano Beltrametti appears to have cut right through the netting.

It doesn't look good, but let us hope and pray for his recovery.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 12
Before there was netting, racers losing it at 80 mph were running into trees. I've seen pix of racers sliding through two levels of netting before coming to a halt. Certainly better to slow down that way than all of a sudden when you hit a tree.
post #5 of 12
After having helped out at several speed events at Snowbasin, I know that B-fencing and A-nets are an essential safety component in ski racing. I've seen several racers take out a row of fencing, have it absorb their impact and then get up and ski away!
Also, if I recall correctly, I believe that B-fencing has actually been altered after Maeir's crash. The poles will snap after bending a certain amount to avoid catapulting the skier up like what happened to Hermann!
Ultimately, speed events are inherently dangerous and even all the safety precautions can never change that... all the best to Silvano.
post #6 of 12
Very disturbing, and it reminds us all of the risk of speed event skiing. There has been tremendous progress made in safety at downhill races over the last decade. This will probably lead to additional modifications that will make it even safer. But the risks are still high as injuries from just falling can be severe. Hope for the best for Beltrametti, but I know the prognosis are not good. This has been a very tough year for the world of ski racing. Lets hope for better times.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
The BBC TV footage I saw today showed Silvano cut a large hole in the net. It looked as if it had been cut apart in three tears.
He was apparently found with his back slammed against a rock and has broken at least one vertebra.
The net material did not look as substantial as those which usually allow a skier's leg to penetrate but don't allow the whole body to pass through.
So what was this fence made of?
It looked more like an advertising banner to me.
post #8 of 12
A few years back Brian Stemmle of Canada came low in the Steilhang at the Strief, caught the "old" netting and practically tore himself in half. After life threatening internal injuries, he returned to win in the Pan Ams in Las Lenas and to come within two gates of winning the DH in Nagano.
He sued Kitz, WC and FIS and set the ground work for the improvements in B and A netting etc. Money talks.
Incidently in 88 Calgary, stood near while a young Chilean skied up, down and off (without missing a gate), at least ten ft. up the catch net on the Oly Nakiska course. Heuvos Grande, Juevon!
For those who care...wish I could post more often....real busy season already! Miss you all...but I do read the posts!!! Keep it up...don't be late for lineup Dchan!!!
post #9 of 12
I care, Robin! I've been wondering where you've been--glad to know you're all right. I know what you mean about being busy, though.

Have a great season, and please pitch in whenever you get a chance!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #10 of 12
This was really an unfortunate event. Imagine how his teammates felt racing the bnext day while he was laying in the hospital. Kinda puts things in perspective. I have heard that these nets are 'space-age' material, and should not break. So what happened here? Was it a case of negligence? If this sport is to continue, Safety needs to be more strictly enforced. There is no way this should have happened. Our thoughts are with him.
post #11 of 12
Anybody seen the footage of Mueller surfing the netting and making it back on the course without missing a gate? Cool stuff. Definitely heartbreaking news to hear about a young hopeful athlete ending a career so soon and brutally. Best wishes to him. Good to see you around a little Robin. I'm also busy, spending several days at a time on the mountain in all that snow we keep getting. Waah!
post #12 of 12
I saw the footage for the first time last night and it was amazing to watch him tear through the netting like the hole was already cut for him. Also I didn't notice any B Netting on the other side of the fence??? Albeit this was an unusual crash site but shouldn't there have been B Netting there? Could that have prevented some of these injuries?
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