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Champion skier narrowly avoids drone crash


Drone crash

A champion skier only just avoided a painful drone crash during a recent televised race.

Drones have been the breakout hit of 2015, hitting mainstream news and doubtless working their way under hundreds of thousands of trees this Christmas.

But one of the reasons drones have been making the news is that they tend to go wrong in spectacular, often dangerous fashion. Take this latest incident by way of an example.

Marcel Hirscher is a 26-year-old Austrian skier who won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He has also won the overall skiing World Cup for the past four seasons running.

Hirscher was on his second run of the slalom event at the Madonna di Campiglio course in Italy when a drone dropped out of the sky onto the course, landing right where he had been a mere fraction of a second earlier.

It was captured live during Eurosport's event coverage.

Hirscher went on to complete his run, and seemed oblivious to his near miss at the time. However, he was clearly aware of the implications of the accident afterwards. "This is horrible. This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury," he said.

Related: Flying a drone: everything you need to know

FIS racing director Markus Waldner has explained why there was a drone being used at the event in the first place. "The use of drones at great events in Austria and Switzerland is forbidden. But it is allowed in Italy," he said.

"That's why we agreed with [broadcasters] Infront that drones are not to fly above the raceway, but only above a corridor besides the spectators. I am sorry," he added.

"What happened is a total mess and there will be consequences. Drones won't be used in the future."

In case you're wondering, Hirscher finished the first leg of the event in second place behind Norway's Henrik Kristofferssen.

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