Marcel Hirscher may well be the best skier in the world, having captured four overall World Cup titles in a row. But racing in Italy on Tuesday, the 26-year-old Austrian skier almost saw his day on the slopes ruined by something completely unrelated to ski racing: a massive camera drone that nearly crashed on top of him.
During a World Cup slalom race in Madonna Di Campiglio, Hirscher was on his second run of the day when a large drone carrying a TV camera for the broadcast crew came plummeting to the ground. The camera’s impact just avoided hitting Hirscher.
While Hirscher may have been struck by some flying debris after the drone shattered upon impact, it ultimately didn’t seem to affect him, as he still finished second on the day, allowing him to reclaim the overall World Cup lead from Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal.
Hirscher jokingly took to Instagram after the incident, mocking the “heavy air traffic” in Italy, but after the race, he wasn’t in a laughing mood about how close he came to a potential freak injury.
“This is horrible,” Hirscher was quoted as saying by ESPN. “This can never happen again. This can be a serious injury.”
Meanwhile on social media, the responses to Hirscher’s close encounter with the drone ranged from shock to a multitude of corny Terminator jokes:
Holy hell that was close https://t.co/g3sRmzIPlb
— James Dart (@James_Dart) December 22, 2015
Slalom skier Marcel Hirscher almost hit by a drone mid run! The beginning of the end! pic.twitter.com/DOREhAKkqF
— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) December 22, 2015
— Neil Cole (@neilcole) December 22, 2015
When Skynet became self-aware. https://t.co/XbDWq2zGNK
— Kristian vS Hæhre (@vonstrenginho) December 22, 2015
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