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Hermann Maier races to victory in the Super G, Feb. 16, 1998.

No. 7: Hermann Maier Wins Two Golds After Spectacular Crash

Racing in the downhill event the 1998 Nagano Olympics, Austrian skier Hermann Maier survived one of the most horrifying crashes in Olympic history. “Maier, a powerful, swashbuckling racer, was coming around a banked left turn when he lost his edge, flew some 40 meters in the air, landing on his helmet, crashing through two orange retaining fences and beyond a third,” described the New York Daily News. “The crowd gasped, and held its breath until seeing the wave of Maier’s hand.”

Maier suffered only a bruised shoulder and sprained knee in the crash, which was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Three days later, the “Herminator” took gold in the Super G, and followed that three days later with a gold in the giant slalom. “After having survived such a crash, it is like being born again,” remarked Maier. “These two gold medals probably mean more because of it.”

Watch Hermann Maier’s crash and gold medal-winning performances.

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