Disaster struck for the two time world champion, during an impromptu game of football.
On his Facebook page, Svindal stated, “I was out for a little run with the rest of my team in Soelden. We ended the session playing around with a ball, when suddenly I felt something snap in my leg, and I knew right away something was wrong. Extremely bad timing just as the season is about to start, but now that it’s happened there’s not much I can do.”
Svindal, who won the overall World Cup in both 2006 and 2009, alongside three medals at the Vancouver Olympics, was taken to hospital in Innsbruck and diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles. He was operated on immediately, a procedure which went well, and he is now recuperating in Oslo.
Dr. Marc Jacob Strauss, a Norwegian national team doctor, was quoted as saying, “Aksel must now train carefully for the next few weeks, and he will most likely not be ready to ski again for the next three or four months.”
The first event of this seasons men’s World Cup - the giant slalom in Soelden, Austria, was won by Austrian Marcel Hirscher, with German Fritz Dopfer coming second. The tour now moves onto Levi in Finland, before crossing the Atlantic for events in Lake Louise and Aspen.