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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde’s season over after Wengen downhill crash

Aleksander Aamodt Kilde

Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde competes in the Downhill of the FIS Alpine Skiing Men’s World Cup event in Wengen on January 13, 2024. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde’s season is over after sustaining shoulder and leg injuries in a crash near the finish of a World Cup downhill in Wengen, Switzerland, on Saturday.

Kilde dislocated a shoulder, had a cut in his calf and was operated on in Bern later Saturday, according to Norway’s skiing federation.

“He has no fractures, but is bruised. Kilde is in good hands at the hospital in Bern, says the team’s doctor Marc Jacob Strauss,” according to the federation.

A post on Kilde’s social media on Sunday morning showed him recovering in a bed being visited by partner Mikaela Shiffrin.

“I’m here (and being taken care of by the one and only @mikaelashiffrin ❤️‍🩹)…patched up…thank you so much for all of the messages,” it read. “I’m grateful for all the words of love and support. This sport can be brutal, but I still love it.”

Kilde, the world’s top downhiller the previous two seasons, fell within sight of the finish line, slid into safety netting, which he bounced off of and slid further to the finish line. He sat up as support personnel came to aid him.

There was small strapping put around his right leg, and minutes later a helicopter flew above to transport him away from the venue.

In Alpine skiing, a helicopter is often used to transport injured athletes to a nearby hospital for further care.

The race was stopped for about 30 minutes. World champion Marco Odermatt of Switzerland, who raced before Kilde, was the eventual winner.

Kilde has six World Cup podiums this season after winning eight times last season and taking downhill and super-G silver at last February’s world championships.

Kilde dealt with the flu this week, according to the International Ski Federation.

Kilde’s fall came one day after Frenchman Alexis Pinturault crashed in a Wengen super-G and was airlifted off the course with what was later diagnosed as a season-ending ACL tear. Pinturault succeeded Kilde as World Cup overall champion in 2021.

Wengen held three consecutive days of speed races, starting with a downhill on Thursday that was added to replace a canceled race from another venue earlier this season.

After Pinturault and Kilde’s crashes, International Ski Federation men’s race director Markus Waldner said that having three speed races in a row should be avoided in the future, according to Swiss broadcaster SRF.