Ski-ing -- and at Lake Placid in the United States the World Cup downhill race on Saturday (3 March) was marred by the serious injury of the brilliant young Italian all-round skier, Leonardo David.
Ski-ing -- and at Lake Placid in the United States the World Cup downhill race on Saturday (3 March) was marred by the serious injury of the brilliant young Italian all-round skier, Leonardo David. The event was held in bright spring sunshine and produced some keen competition.
SYNOPSIS: All the top runners were full of praise for the Whiteface Mountain course, which is just over three thousand metres (yards) long. Here's David Murray of Canada, who finished third.
This is the winner, Austrian ace Peter Wirnsberger. He was eighth down and caught the track in near-perfect condition. Repeating his win at Garmisch, West Germany, he was the first man to win two major downhill events this season.
Peter Muller of Switzerland finished second, only three hundredths of a second behind Wirnsberger. There are some difficult technical turns at the start of the course, which ends with a bolt for the finish on the flattest possible skis.
Leonardo David just before he collapsed. The nineteen-year-old Italian gained a time by crossing the finishing line, but afterwards officials said he did not appear to breathe for four minutes. He was rushed to hospital by helicopter for a brain operation and was later reported to be in a deep coma and fighting for his life.
After speeds of over 85 miles (137 kms) per hour on the course -- some welcome relaxation for the winners. Lake Placid has been chosen for the 1980 Winter Olympics and the World Cup is a useful testing ground.