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Norwegian Skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde Recounts Harrowing Crash and Recovery Journey

Norwegian alpine skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde vividly recalls the terrifying moments leading to his recent horror crash during a World Cup downhill race in Wengen, Switzerland. Approaching speeds of 120 km/h (74.6 mph), Kilde saw the net along the ski slope’s edge rushing towards him before darkness enveloped him.

The aftermath revealed the extent of the disaster—Kilde suffered a dislocated shoulder, two torn shoulder ligaments, and a serious calf laceration that necessitated urgent surgery due to nerve damage. Currently recovering in Austria after the operation in Bern, Switzerland, Kilde is anticipating another surgery to address his shoulder, describing it as being “torn a little bit apart.”

In an interview with CNN Sport’s Coy Wire from his hospital bed in Innsbruck, Kilde recounted the harrowing incident. He collapsed in a crucial turn before the finish, sliding into the gates and crashing into the nets at a 90-degree angle. He recalls waking up with excruciating shoulder pain, only to faint again and discover a severe cut on his leg.

With thoughts racing through his mind, including the possibility of the end of his career, Kilde focused on survival during conscious moments, emphasizing the importance of staying awake and present. Despite the intense pain, he acknowledged the support of those around him who managed critical aspects of the situation.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, Kilde’s girlfriend, rushed to be by his side at the hospital, providing support during his recovery. Shiffrin later achieved a historic victory in the FIS World Cup women’s slalom in Austria, becoming the all-time leader in men’s or women’s skiing with her 94th overall win.

In an emotional Instagram post, Shiffrin shared her experience of witnessing Kilde’s crash and expressed gratitude for the support of her team. Kilde, touched by Shiffrin’s unwavering presence, described it as “amazing” to have her by his side during the challenging moments after surgery.

Despite Kilde’s stellar performance in the current World Cup season, his injuries have prematurely ended his campaign. However, he remains resilient, viewing the situation as a “bump in the road,” albeit one of the most significant challenges in his career. Kilde, known for his competitive spirit, looks forward to returning to the slopes but acknowledges the upcoming journey will be tough.

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