Ski star Kilde dislocated shoulder in crash, posts photo from hospital with Shiffrin at bedside

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Norway's Aleksander Aamodt Kilde is attended after falling during an alpine ski, men's World Cup downhill race, in Wengen, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)

BERN – Downhill racer Aleksander Aamodt Kilde dislocated his shoulder in a nasty crash and posted a photograph Sunday with partner Mikaela Shiffrin at his bedside in a hospital in Bern where he had surgery.

Kilde was airlifted by helicopter from the finish area Saturday at Wengen after crashing into course-side safety fences off the final turn of the longest race on the World Cup circuit.

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“I’m here (and being taken care of by the one and only @MikaelaShiffrin ),” Kilde posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, adding an emoji of a red heart wrapped in a bandage. "This sport can be brutal, but I still love it."

The photo showed the 31-year-old Norwegian with cuts on his nose, lips and chin but smiling as Shiffrin kissed the side of his forehead.

Shiffrin is next due to race in Austria on Tuesday and the American ski superstar came to the Swiss capital after her partner’s crash Saturday in the classic Lauberhorn downhill at Wengen.

Kilde has long been a standout racer, a three-time winner at Wengen and the overall World Cup champion in 2020. He's the two-time defending champion in the season-long downhill standings and a two-time medalist at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Kilde was launched off his skis and twisted round in midair before hitting the fences hard more than two minutes and 20 seconds into a tiring run. It was the third straight day of racing on an unusually intense program at Switzerland’s most storied ski venue.

“Aleksander has had his shoulder dislocated, and a cut in his calf. He has no fractures, but is bruised,” Norwegian team doctor Marc Jacob Strauss said in a statement published by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS), which said Kilde was operated on Saturday evening.

The race program was criticized Saturday by star downhillers Marco Odermatt and Cyprien Sarrazin after organizers scheduled speed races on back-to-back-to-back days on an historically long course.

An extra downhill on Thursday was added to the Wengen program to replace a race canceled last month because of the weather at Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Kilde had been sick earlier in the week before placing third both on Thursday and in a super-G on Friday, then seemed fatigued at the end of his downhill run Saturday.

“Maybe we had a lesson now,” said Odermatt, after winning Saturday to add to his Thursday win. He also was second in the super-G. “I really don’t think we need three races here, even if it was good for me.”

“Three days is really hard physically,” said Sarrazin, who was runner-up to Odermatt in both downhills and won the super-G.


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