Aleksander Aamodt Kilde demands action after several falls

SEVERELY INJURED: Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is uncertain about his future as a top alpinist after the horror fall in Wengen earlier this year. Photo: CLAUDIA GRECO / Reuters / NTB

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (31) and sports manager Claus Ryste want to slow down to prevent more serious injuries.


Today 09:33

Updated today 09:44

  • Alpinist Aleksander Aamodt Kilde and sports manager Claus Ryste want to slow down in alpine skiing to prevent more serious injuries.
  • Several athletes, including Kilde, have sustained injuries this winter.
  • Kilde suggests safety measures such as airbags and cut-proof underwear, and believes that lowering speed is one of the ways to improve safety.
  • Ryste points out that the average speed is increasing due to better equipment, skiing technique, physics and lubrication.
  • Discussions about reducing the average speed in downhill, super-G and giant slalom are necessary in the alpine environment.

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– It is pushed towards a limit which is not good. There have been several falls this season on people who normally don’t fall. FIS (the International Ski Federation) has a responsibility now to look at measures, says Kilde at a press conference on Thursday.

He met the press for the first time after the fall in Wengen. There he said that he cannot promise that he will return at the top level.

After dislocating his shoulder and a nasty cut in his calf which damaged several nerves, he now wants to see a change in the programme.

– We have no room to lose anyone, says Kilde.

See the case:

Kilde is just one of many alpinists who have suffered serious injuries this winter:

Petra Vlhova, Markus Fossland, Barnabas Szollo, Remi Cuche, Marco Kohler, Christof Innerhofer, Mikaela Shiffrin, Valérie Grenier and Corinne Suter have all fallen badly and injured themselves this winter.

– FIS must review the program and security. You have to look at both the speed and the safety equipment. We have seen many falls this year, including several athletes who normally do not fall, Kilde said.

Mikaela Shiffrin, Valérie Grenier and Corinne Suter all injured themselves in the Cortina weekend last weekend.

Markus Wasmeier, who won two Olympic golds in Lillehammer in 1994, is critical of the athletes.

– When I see the errors from Cortina, they were all extreme driving and line errors. It surprised me a little, says Wasmeier according to the newspaper Kronen Zeitung in Austria.

The source says that it was not the actual fall on the snow that injured him, it was the collision with the fence. He suggests several safety measures such as airbags and cut-proof underwear.

– There are several things you can do to improve safety, lowering the speed is one of them, says Kilde.

The sports manager for the alpine national team, Claus Johan Ryste, also points to speed as a challenge in the sport.

– The average speed must decrease, says Ryste to VG.

Ryste says that the increasing speed does not necessarily lead to more crashes.

– But the high speed increases the potential for damage. If you have a higher speed, you have more energy in your body, says Ryste.

He lists a number of things that lead to increased speeds: the equipment, ski technique, physics and lubrication improve.

SLOW DOWN: Claus Ryste is clear in his speech. Photo: GIAN EHRENZELLER / EPA / NTB

Ryste fears that the severity of the collisions will increase. He is unsure how to reduce the speeds.

– I have no answer to that. We as an environment have to start discussing the average speed in downhill, super-G and giant slalom, he says.

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde fell badly in Wengen on 13 January this year.

In Wengen, the average speed has increased by just over 3.5 kilometers per hour from 2015 to 2024.

– I haven’t thought much about it. A lot of ice is used on the slopes, but at the same time we know that it is an extreme sport. But there is a limit, says Kilde when asked about the development in motion.


Published: 02.02.24 at 09:33

Updated: 02.02.24 at 09:44

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The article is in Norwegian

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