One of the world's most dominant skiers, Marcel Hirscher, narrowly escaped serious injury and possible death after a drone crashed just inches from him during a slope race in Italy.
The Austrian has won the overall World Cup in each of the last four seasons and, following the race in Madonna di Campiglio, now leads this season's competition. He also claimed a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
But Hirscher will have more than his championship credentials to talk about in the coming days with the drone crash launching his name and slalom skiing into the mainstream.
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The 26-year-old was on his second run when the drone, which was carrying a camera, smashed into the ground behind him, narrowly missing his head.
Had it hit him, it is safe to say that Hirscher would not be in a position to compete for his fifth World Cup.
But, as it was, Hirscher appeared not to notice the bits of machinery flying everywhere and continued with his run, but, of course, he was soon notified of the incident and duly responded.
Hirscher told reporters: “This is horrible. This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury.”
He would go on to finish the event in second behind Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway, leapfrogging Aksel Lund Svindal in the overall standings.
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