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Alpine skiing: “It crossed my mind”, Alexis Pinturault considered stopping after his fall

Combined world champion last winter, Pinturault, 32, suffers from a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee.

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Alpine skiing: “It crossed my mind”, Alexis Pinturault considered stopping after his fall

Combined world champion last winter, Pinturault, 32, suffers from a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee. He is due for surgery next week. Stopping, “it crossed my mind when I was in the hospital,” he admitted. “I thought about it and even today it’s not that simple, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get back to my best level and be competitive. But the desire is there, to come back, I no longer think about stopping.”

Pinturault, who has the best active record on the men's circuit with 34 World Cup successes, had started this season a shift towards speed for the end of his career, giving up slalom to discover downhill. “Will I continue the descent? I’m not there yet,” said the skier. “I may have to make choices to perform well, but I want to continue this quest.”

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A father for a few days, he achieved his first Top 10 in downhill on Thursday, taking a good 9th place on the first descent on the program in Wengen. The Swiss stage was marked by several serious falls - also costing the season to the Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde, N.2 for the last two winters - and athletes on the circuit criticized the very busy schedule of the International Ski Federation, which exhausts organisms pushed to the limit.

“We always have a lot of stages over the same period, it creates an overload and we athletes have always been against that,” explained Pinturault. “I don’t know if my injury is linked to that (...) but when we finish the stage with the longest descent of the winter, we clearly want to throw the athletes to the hospital,” said he regretted.

The men's Alpine Skiing World Cup continues on Friday in Kitzbühel, Austria, where two downhills and a slalom are on the program.

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