VIENNA (Reuters) - Double Olympic ski champion Hermann Maier, who was badly injured in a motorcycle accident last month, left his hospital room in Salzburg on Friday to take his first unaided walk since the crash.

With the aid of a walker to support his badly-broken right leg, Maier's little stroll ``went very well,'' Heinrich Bergmueller, head of the winter Olympics training facility at Obertauern, told the APA news agency.

Maier is now working out three times a day for about 10 minutes with the aid of a specially-adapted hand velometer, which enables him to exercise his upper body.

``He's getting in touch with his body and knows when he can do more,'' said Bergmueller, adding that it was impossible to say how long Maier would remain in hospital.

The Austrian ski champion suffered a severe compound fracture and muscle-tissue damage when his motorcycle collided with a car on August 24 near his home town of Flachau, near Salzburg.

The former bricklayer, who has become one of the sport's most prolific winners, was due to defend his Olympic crowns at Salt Lake City next February.

Known to his fans as the ``Herminator,'' Maier has won 41 World Cup races and three overall World Cup titles, competing in the speed events of downhill and Super-G as well as giant slalom.

source: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010907/sp/skiing_maier_dc_6.html


Event Coverage