Downhill skiing is dangerous enough without distractions. Competitors get injured often while competing thanks to being too hard on ligaments, losing control and more. Regardless, one thing competitors shouldn’t have to worry about is getting hit with a giant drone while performing. Unfortunately, this week, that’s exactly what Austrian ski champion Marcel Hirscher had to deal with. Check it out.
The short video, courtesy of The Guardian, shows Hirscher competing in a slalom event in Madonna di Campiglio in Italy. As Hirscher was skiing, the drone crashed behind him, narrowly missing the competitor. It’s one of the craziest things we’ve ever seen happen at a sporting event, so you should give the short video a watch. If you can't, here's the aftermath:
Hirscher later told the AP that he wasn’t really aware of what exactly was happening as he completed his second run at the slalom event. He told the organization that he thought it was a “course worker"-- aka the person who comes down to smooth the track after each skier makes an attempt. He also thought it could have been “a gate” presumably falling.
It was neither of those things. Instead, he had a close shave with a 22-lb drone. If that thing had actually fallen on Hirscher, it would have been very serious rather than a crazy, wtf TV moment. Apparently, the pilot of the drone was directly disobeying orders when the accident happened, as well. Reports indicate that the International Skiing Federation, FIS, allowed the drone on the premises. A camera was attached and the drone was expected to get race footage. The drones have given viewers watching at home a brand new, interesting angle on their TVs, but the pilot in question was supposed to fly outside of the racetrack rather than within the racetrack. If he had been in the proper area and the drone had fallen, it would have been far less dangerous for the professional skiers.
Hopefully, you didn’t enjoy the drones, because they have all been banned, effective immediately, as footage from the crash has spread like wildfire over the internet.
Honestly, it’s bad enough to have to watch injured athletes get hurt in professional competitions, but a horrible accident like a drone falling on a competitor could have been gruesome. It’s really not worth it to get one cool overhead camera shot if there’s even the possibility that a racer could get hurt.