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Bad, Bad News

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
By ERIC WILLEMSEN, Associated Press Writer December 28, 2007

LIENZ, Austria (AP) -- Denise Karbon of Italy won her third straight giant slalom Friday in a World Cup race in which Julia Mancuso of the United States finished second and teammate Resi Stiegler crashed and broke her arm and shin.

Stiegler, America's giant slalom national champion, was hospitalized with a broken left forearm and right shinbone, torn ligaments in the right knee and a bruised face and hip after her spill halfway down the course. She will undergo surgery in the U.S. and will be sidelined two months, the hospital said.

Karbon led after the first leg and was fastest in the final run to finish in
2 minutes, 2.73 seconds. Mancuso was 1.28 seconds behind, moving from fourth after the opening leg. Nicole Gius of Italy was third, 1.62 seconds behind Karbon.

"I had a cautious second run because I was well ahead and I knew two spots on the course which were dangerous," Karbon said.

Mancuso, Olympic giant slalom champion, wanted to win for Stiegler. The race was delayed almost a half hour after the crash in the first run.

"I gave everything to win it for Resi, but Denise was just incredibly fast,"
Mancuso said.

Stiegler lost her balance as her skies made contact on a curve. She fell, slid off course through two rows of gates at the edge and rolled about 6 feet. Those gates were supposed to break a crash and prevent the skier from dropping down the slope.

Race director Siegried Vergeiner insisted security was adequate.

"The gates at that point of the course were installed properly and eyed up by FIS officials prior to the race," Vergeiner said. "This was just very bad luck for Resi."

Mancuso had the fourth best time in the second leg.

"The way Denise skied today, I can only be happy to finish second," Mancuso said.


***********************************************

She's a tough girl. Let's hope she gets well soon.
post #2 of 29
Girl's got spunk get better soon!!
post #3 of 29
That pic makes it look like shes having fun, not falling. I'm guessing thats the case right?

Regardless, that pic, uh, gives me ideas.
post #4 of 29
yeah that is not the fall leroy....
post #5 of 29
I met her once, and she was really nice. Hope she is back soon. A shame to hurt those nice shins too!
post #6 of 29
Maybe she could benefit from some pro-bono rehab?
post #7 of 29
How sad. The crash does not look like it would cause an injury. I wonder why the fence did not stop her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1SKcfLXg-s
post #8 of 29
Euro sport says knee injury, out for 2 months .

I don't know how reliable that is but I wish her a speedy recovery. It seemed she was off to a great start this season!

On the brighter side there was some excitement on the mens side in Bormio this morning!
:
JF
post #9 of 29

Yes, isn't that interesting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
How sad. The crash does not look like it would cause an injury. I wonder why the fence did not stop her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1SKcfLXg-s
....why the fence didn't stop her, kind of like it didn't stop Anne Barthet in Aspen when she destroyed her knee. I talked to an (ahem) informed observer re the Aspen women's DH course, and she said "No way that course was safe...they never should have run that race." But the FIS is right on the case, right? I mean, this whole initiative where they mandated safer racing through changed sidecuts, ski widths, and so forth is definitely making our sport safer, race by race, isn't it? Isn't it?
post #10 of 29
Fence is never going to be 100% effective. There is just no way to set milles of fence over terrain like that and not have some places where a body can "sneak" through. Hard to tell but it looks like her ski found a gap at the bottom of the fence and her body just followed it through.

Fences, like helmets will stop most of what they are intended to stop.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Fence is never going to be 100% effective. There is just no way to set milles of fence over terrain like that and not have some places where a body can "sneak" through. Hard to tell but it looks like her ski found a gap at the bottom of the fence and her body just followed it through.

Fences, like helmets will stop most of what they are intended to stop.
I agree, fences are never going to be totally safe. Driving a F1 car or running GS, SG or DH gates has its risks. BTW, at the WC the security is much better than on most FIS races not to talk about training tracks for lower ranked teams.

Lets hope those shins are ok in two months time.
post #12 of 29
I wonder if she found a rock underneath the snow as she flipped. It does seem the fence should have been better anchored... LewBob

I watched it again and she did come down hard on her left shin. If there was anything hard underneath it she could have done bad damage.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by fischermh View Post
How sad. The crash does not look like it would cause an injury. I wonder why the fence did not stop her.
Fences along race courses are mostly designed NOT to stop a skier, but rather to slow the momentum over a number of feet rather than instantly. Serious (fatal) injuries arise when decelleration is immense over a very short distance (e.g., internal organs continue forward when everything else stops.) That's why there are multiple fences in downhill. The speed in a WC GS race is the equivalent of what you're going if you fall something like five stories, so there is a lot of kinetic energy to dissipate, and the idea of the flexible fence is to prevent you from having one quick inelastic impact with all that kinetic energy.
post #14 of 29
Get well soon, Resi... We miss you already!
post #15 of 29
Bruised face...should have worn a full face.
post #16 of 29
A few thoughtlets:

- Resi's injury seems to vary from something involving shins to something involving a knee, depending on what you read. Everything's speculation at this point, but that unreleased right ski flopping about, banging against fences and what have you, didn't look like an entirely good thing. Realizing that this is speculation, if that was the source of the injury it had very little to do with the fence (except insofar as having a fence at all gave her something to tangle her tips and tails in) and considerably more to do with the necessity of running with a really high DIN. It actually looked like a garden-variety no-big-deal fall up until she got tangled in the fence. If it had been a more violent fall, it might actually have turned out better, since she would've knocked both skis off right away.

- On the other hand, it looked like she may have knocked her face against a tree trunk right at the very end of the Youtube clip, but it's hard to say.

- I'm with sfdean on the theory and practice of fences. Stopping people quickly is what you're trying to avoid: that's what rocks, trees and walls do.

- You can't see the course set real well in the Youtube video (which is all I've seen), but the biggest "course design" problem would seem to be the setter's, in running the racers too directly toward a tree line.

- Sort of beside the point, but: not only are dozens of races run every weekend all over the country with significantly less B-netting and other protection than was on that course, but the exact same racers on those WC courses spend at least 10 times more hours training with significant less protection.

- I'm pretty sure there's nothing wrong with Julia. Indeed, she was (briefly) second in the overall WC standings. Hmm ... have two Americans ever stood 1-2 before, even for a day?
post #17 of 29
The fence appears to have a lot of support poles .. quite a few actually .. and way more than you see in the average USSA event.

Of interest is what caused the deflection of her inside ski .... just looks like the smallest of ruts as she unweights.
post #18 of 29
Did anyone really think ski racing is safe? Go to one of these things in person. Look at the course. It ain't safe. That's what makes it so cool!!! These guys are nutz!
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean View Post
Fences along race courses are mostly designed NOT to stop a skier, but rather to slow the momentum over a number of feet rather than instantly. Serious (fatal) injuries arise when decelleration is immense over a very short distance (e.g., internal organs continue forward when everything else stops.) That's why there are multiple fences in downhill. The speed in a WC GS race is the equivalent of what you're going if you fall something like five stories, so there is a lot of kinetic energy to dissipate, and the idea of the flexible fence is to prevent you from having one quick inelastic impact with all that kinetic energy.
Exactly. If you remember seeing Dale Ernhardt's fatal crash, it did not look that violent to the untrained eye. Compare with the end-over-end rollers with parts flying everywhere that surely look deadly. In the later you are seeing the energy dissipate. Dale's crash didn't work out that way. I do remember the color commentator, I think it was Darrell Waltrip, gasp and say something along the lines of "Oh no, that was bad". He knew.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by trtaylor57 View Post
Exactly. If you remember seeing Dale Ernhardt's fatal crash, it did not look that violent to the untrained eye. Compare with the end-over-end rollers with parts flying everywhere that surely look deadly. In the later you are seeing the energy dissipate. Dale's crash didn't work out that way. I do remember the color commentator, I think it was Darrell Waltrip, gasp and say something along the lines of "Oh no, that was bad". He knew.
Robert Kubica - Montreal '07
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Just sort of an unofficial update. She's in Vail and will undergo the surgery tomorrow (Monday). Steadman is primary and John Feagin, one of Resi's dear old friends (and mine as well, he's the artiste who rebuilt my acl), will be observing. The very preliminary word right now is that the knee MIGHT be an mcl rather than something more involved.

My understanding is that she's in great spirits and can't wait to finish the surgery and rehab and get back out there crashing gates.

Good luck, Resi.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfdean View Post
Fences along race courses are mostly designed NOT to stop a skier, but rather to slow the momentum over a number of feet rather than instantly. Serious (fatal) injuries arise when decelleration is immense over a very short distance (e.g., internal organs continue forward when everything else stops.) That's why there are multiple fences in downhill. The speed in a WC GS race is the equivalent of what you're going if you fall something like five stories, so there is a lot of kinetic energy to dissipate, and the idea of the flexible fence is to prevent you from having one quick inelastic impact with all that kinetic energy.
Think arrestor cables on an Aircraft Carrier.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by trtaylor57 View Post
Exactly. If you remember seeing Dale Ernhardt's fatal crash, it did not look that violent to the untrained eye. Compare with the end-over-end rollers with parts flying everywhere that surely look deadly. In the later you are seeing the energy dissipate. Dale's crash didn't work out that way. I do remember the color commentator, I think it was Darrell Waltrip, gasp and say something along the lines of "Oh no, that was bad". He knew.
Anti-lock brakes, All wheel Drive, bucket seats and crumple zones.... direct from the race track, to your car
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Robert Kubica - Montreal '07
Here you go.

http://flowag.vodpod.com/video/11340...oCategory.6384

http://videos.streetfire.net/video/D...4A0078FF75.htm
post #25 of 29

Now that I've seen the video...

...it doesn't look like the course set or conditions were a problem. She just got hung up on the inside ski, which happens to everybody. In my opinion, there should have been a double layer of fencing at the point where she went through the fence, especially with the drop off after the fence. I've seen lots of races where there's pretty much a well-anchored single layer of fencing top to bottom and then double or even triple fencing in places like this, where either the skier's momentum and direction requires more fencing or the terrain off the course dictates it.

Yep, as somebody pointed out, skiing ain't shuffleboard, and there will be injuries. I just think this particular injury could have been prevented by the simple method of putting in another layer of fencing. Or something.

I guess I just don't understand where the FIS is getting their information. A few years back, Silvano Beltrameti broke his back and was paralyzed following a fall at Val D'Isere. Anybody who saw the crash couldn't possibly mistake the fact that he went through the netting like a BB through wet tissue paper. Result: The FIS decides that too much sidecut, etc., is the culprit, thus the current sidecut/width regulations.

The FIS also decides to start an injury monitoring data base. What happened to that? At this year's Aspen Women's DH, the FIS decides to go ahead with the race, and doesn't do anything when Alexandra Meissnitzer crashes hard early on, and only stops the race after #37, Anne Barthet, goes off into the soft stuff, crashes, and destroys her knee. Steve Porino, who was doing the telecast, said that Atle Skaardal, the FIS rep, when asked if the course was safe, said "Depends on your definition of safety." What's going on, here, folks?
post #26 of 29
Anti-lock brakes and seat belts were developed for early aviation and were in use on the most primitive of aircraft.

Voisin ... brakes .. he did auto work too but his orignal anti-lock was for a plane in 1929

Pegaud ... belts in 1913 and prior to that in a glider by George Cawley.
post #27 of 29
I've been thinking about the lack of safety in safety fencing for a while now. What if there were a layer of material on the snow in front of the safety fencing and the function of this material was to provide some amount of friction in order to slow a downed skier before they hit the fencing? Speed suits could be designed to enable this friction at safe points on the body. For example - we don't want a skier speeding into the fencing to be grabbed by the lower leg or their head. But, maybe the core section would be safe? The upper back or shoulder area, butt, gut, chest - just enough friction to slow the skier down when they are heading into the fence. Also, if the friction points were properly placed on the suit, the skiers orientation could be rotated from say a head first to a legs first into the fence crash. Kind of like the whole aircraft landing on the carrier idea. Got to better than relying on snow and terrain to slow you down before the fencing.
post #28 of 29
m_piet, certainly a good thought regarding orienting the feet first!

This would have to be carefully tested ..... the same grabbing tendency may, at one angle orient the upper body properly under most conditions, but result in an "adz over tea cups tumble" at other angles.
post #29 of 29
How about a parachute operated remotely by the coach or accelerometers located on the skier. Even if not fully deployed it would help slow down the skier.

FWIW, the reason for the current ski suit materials allowed was to slow down the racers in the event of a crash. Prior, racers were experimenting with vinyl, like the speed skiers still use. When you crash in that you never stop and the rubber melts and fuses to your skin.....not pretty, but at least they ski in wide open areas with nothing to hit.
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