With the cancellation of Tuesday’s competition at Bergisel in Innsbruck, the jumpers and fans will have a movie-like “Groundhog Day” in the coming days. From Wednesday to Sunday, the World Cup will be hosted on the Paul Ausserlaitner hill in Bischofshofen. On Wednesday we will have a trial series (11:30), qualification (13:00) and a competition moved from Innsbruck (16:30). On Thursday – the end of the 4-Hills-Tournament (qualification and competition). Two previously planned competitions await us at the weekend. Individual on Saturday and team on Sunday.
Two falls in one day of a wheelchair
The hill in Bischofshofen is adored by some jumpers, while others hate it because of the very unusual and long inrun. However, jumps are viewed well at this facility – competitors can fly well over 135 meters, and the jury often allows such flights.
Unfortunately, the Paul Ausserleitner hill also has its darker face. It was on this site, exactly seven years ago, that the dramatic consequences of accidents took place.
It was January 5, 2015. Nicholas Fairrall’s trial run ahead of the competition suffered a menacing-looking fall. The American flew forward and hit the landing area with his face. However, he stated that he was ready to start and a few dozen minutes later he took part in the competition. Unfortunately, then his life changed forever.
The competitor lost control of the skis and his body flew forward, as if curling up to his feet – almost exactly like a few dozen minutes earlier. Fairrall suffered a very serious spine injury which makes him now in a wheelchair.
“I still feel like he felt pain after the first fall, but he wouldn’t tell me anything.” He was convinced that he might have a great result and … it happened again, he fell just the same. It was the second most difficult moment in my life after my father died. After Nick’s fall, I could not work normally until the end of the season – this is how Bine Norici, the coach of the US-Canadian team, described the events from seven years ago in Sport.pl.
Fairall has never returned to ski jumping in any way, but since the end of 2015 he has been practicing water skiing for the disabled. On his Instagram you can also see that he practices wheelchair sport shooting and is also a motivational speaker.