Felix neureuther commented on the painful olympic exit with a casual saying. "Bye bye cruciate ligament, bye bye beaver creek," the ski star said as he hobbled out of the hospital in vail on crutches – he didn’t even think about the end of the olympic dreams.
"Unfortunately, i don’t have such good news. I tore the cruciate ligament in my left knee today during training in america. That means for me that the season is over," germany’s best ski racer reported in another video on his social media channels. "That’s pretty severe," said alpine director wolfgang maier.
Neureuther’s consolation: "I can now spend a lot of time with my little daughter."His girlfriend, the biathlete miriam gossner, gave birth to little matilda in october.
Instead of being in top form for the giant slalom in beaver creek, the trip for the olympic hopeful is back to germany. There it will be decided when and where the 33-year-old will undergo surgery. In about four months, if things went well, he could slowly start skiing again and be fully fit in preparation for the coming season. "For us as a team, this is awesome," said men’s head coach mathias berthold. "When i heard that yesterday, that was brutal. First and foremost, I feel brutally sorry for him."
"The injury is, especially after the successful start to the olympic season, naturally extremely annoying. But I’ve had to take a few knocks in my career, so I know how to deal with them," neureuther said after the accident during training in copper mountain.
A medal at the olympics will probably be denied to the best german ski racer in world cup history with 13 victories – neureuther would be almost 38 years old at the 2022 winter games in peking. However, he already told the german press agency in the summer about his plans for after the olympic winter: "it may be that i will continue only in slalom and ski for another two, three, four years"."
Maier did not want to venture a prediction about neureuther’s future. "We will do everything we can to bring it back. This is up for discussion. But the decision is made with his family," the alpine chief told the german press agency.
Even before the games in sochi the ski star had bad luck. On his way to russia, he suffered whiplash in a car accident on the way to the airport – his takeoff was on the brink of collapse. In the olympic slalom, he then faded and was eliminated – and that as a rough gold favorite because of strong performances in the run-up to the event.
In south korea, medal hopes in alpine skiing now rest almost exclusively on viktoria rebensburg, who underscored her cash-rich early form with her second victory in the giant slalom in killington on saturday. Among the technical men, fritz dopfer, who has just returned from a serious injury, stefan luitz and linus straber are now fully in charge of top places. "I also want to take the opportunity to wish the team all the best and good luck for the season. Step on it, boys," neureuther said in his video message on facebook. He will probably not be able to start again until the season opener in solden in october 2018.