Our first-ever overseas assignment was covering the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. We thus have incredibly vivid memories of Hermann Maier, the celebrated Austrian skiier who just decided to call it a career. We were at the downhill slopes the day of the crash shown above, and remember instantly thinking “He must be dead” upon witnessing the carnage. (The rough stuff starts about the 25-second mark.) But not only did Maier survive the high-speed wreck—he went on to win a pair of golds (though not in the downhill, of course). Suffice to say the favorite son of Altenmarkt im Pongau is made of sterner stuff than us.
Oh, yeah, he also survived a 2001 motorcycle crash that almost led to the amputation of his legs; three years later, he was once again a World Cup champion. Puts our struggle to complete a 5,000-word article in perspective. Too much perspective, perhaps.